Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

Harwich: Accidental activation of back-up propulsion system caused ferry crash says report

11:23 17 February 2014

The scene at Parkeston Quay in Harwich where the DFDS  Sirena Seaways struck the quay.

The scene at Parkeston Quay in Harwich where the DFDS Sirena Seaways struck the quay.

Archant

A ferry carrying nearly 500 passengers crashed into a wall at an Essex port because a button activating a propulsion back-up system was accidently pressed as the vessel approached land, a report has said.

The finding comes from a document published by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) into what caused the DFDS Sirena Seaways to make “heavy contact” with the quayside at Harwich International Port on June 22 last year.

All 489 passengers on the ferry were left stranded on board for several hours after the ship ran into a hydraulic boarding ramp at Parkeston Quay.

The impact left a hole beneath the waterline on the 23,000-tonne vessel, which had just arrived from Esbjerg in Denmark, and resulted in the ship taking on water and initially listing by five to 10 degrees.

Passengers at the time reported hearing a “bang” and some “metallic noises”, and feeling the ship “judder” as it hit the quayside.

The report said the ship’s records showed that because the back-up button had been pushed the starboard propulsion system remained at around 63% of full capacity throughout the accident and continued to be so for nearly two hours after the crash, hampering attempts to pull the vessel from the damaged berth.

The report added that it was likely the button was pressed by accident when the button next it, which activated the lights for the ferry’s control console, was pushed.

“The starboard CPP back-up control button was positioned closely to the ‘lights up’ button and it was not fitted with a protective cover. Given the time at which it was activated, it was most likely that it was pressed inadvertently as the brightness of the centre console indicator lamps was increased,” the report stated.

It also found that no warning was given to the passengers and crew, other than the mooring teams, before the impact and that while engineers in the engine control room of the ferry noticed the back-up system indicator lamp was lit they did not attempt to clarify with the team at the ship’s bridge why it had been operated.

“Complacency in communications between the teams led to a breakdown in the shared situational awareness of the vessel’s propulsion system and indicates the crew were not working as a cohesive team,” said the report.

It recommended that DFDS “review the need for regular bridge and crew resource management training” and “consider methods for warning passengers and minimising the risk of injury in a similar emergency.”

In response, a spokesman for DFDS said: “Safety is of paramount importance to DFDS Seaways and we work hard to continually develop our safety standards.

“We will therefore use the information from this incident to see how we can reduce the risk of similar incidents in the future, and will also use the report and its recommendations to review our training procedures.”

0 comments

A road/rail vehicle used to install new overhead wires at Shenfield in Essex.

If it’s a bank holiday, Network Rail must be closing the main line to London again!

Chris May's family: Mum Lorraine May and sisters Gemma and Charlene May.

The family of missing Kelvedon man Chris May have asked anyone withholding any information which might help solve his disappearance to call police and help end their “suffering”.

Photo issued by Essex Police of James Fairweather. Photo: Essex Police/PA Wire

A double murderer who killed two people in less than three months hopes to appeal his jail sentence on the grounds it is “excessive.”

Suffolk County Council and Active Norfolk Aviva Women's Tour media ride launched in Southwold on Wednesday 25th May.

Some of the best female cyclists in the world visited Suffolk yesterday as preparations for next month’s Aviva Women’s Tour.

Watch the new equestrian challenge

There are just days to go until the gates open for the 2016 Suffolk Show, and with an action packed programme set to please visitors, organisers have shared their top 10 new things to enjoy at this year’s show:

The A-10 aircraft heads along the A14 from RAF Alconbury to Bentwaters Cold War Museum on the former RAF Bentwaters airfield.

It was once a familiar sight over Suffolk – but the A-10 Thunderbolt II has been seldom seen since the twin bases of Bentwaters and Woodbridge closed in 1993.

Weapons discovered in Jubilee Park.

Knives and a hammer were found in an Ipswich park by police officers who are working to tackle drug dealing in one of the town’s most deprived areas.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24