An articulated tanker truck rammed through the stern doors of a high-speed ferry after the driver left the vehicle’s hand-brake off and stranded passengers aboard the vehicle overnight. The vehicle had not been properly stowed or fitted with the necessary securing points, wheel chocks were not appropriately positioned. Britain’s Maritime Accident Investigation Branch has recommended has been made to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, MCA, and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, VOSA, to ensure that road hauliers are made aware of the need to make their vehicles safe to transport by sea.
Further recommendations have been made to the MCA aimed at ensuring
that the securing arrangements and practices on board all high speed craft carrying freight vehicles comply with their cargo securing manuals and the applicable codes of practice, and confirming that procedures include robust measures to ensure that the parking brakes of all vehicles have been applied. Recommendations have also been made to Stena Line and Turner (Soham) Ltd to improve the ability of these companies to meet the guidelines of the codes of practice relating to the secure stowage of freight vehicles at sea.
Says the MAIB report: “ On 28 January 2009, an articulated road tanker crashed through a stern door of the High Speed Service vessel Stena Voyager shortly after the ferry had commenced a scheduled crossing from Stranraer, Scotland, to Belfast, Northern Ireland. The vehicle’s semi-trailer came to rest on the vessel’s port water jet units; its tractor unit remained on the vehicle deck. The ferry was quickly
stopped and her crew were able to make the vehicle secure.
”Stena Voyager then returned to Stranraer but her passengers had to remain on board overnight because the position of the road vehicle prevented her berthing stern to the linkspan. The passengers were disembarked by the fire service the following day using a telescopic rescue platform. The semi-trailer was removed by crane later the same evening. There were no injuries but the ferry’s stern door was lost overboard.
”The driver of the road tanker had not applied the vehicle’s parking brakes and had left it out of gear. Although the vehicle had been lashed to the deck and its rear wheels chocked, the securing arrangements were not in accordance with the vessel’s securing manual, and they failed to stop the vehicle from rolling backwards when Stena Voyager became trimmed by her stern as she accelerated. Neither the ferry’s deck securing points nor the vehicle’s ferry securing points, to which the lashings were attached, accorded with the applicable international and national codes of practice.
“The lashing straps were also of insufficient strength, and tests have shown that the chocks could not have been correctly positioned.