Germany’s Federal Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation says that it cannot give precise conclusions regarding the collision between the ro-ro ferry Skania and the fishing vessel Gitte in part because of the refusal by Skania’s owner, Unity Line Co. Ltd of Szczecin, to release the vessel’s Voyage Data Recorder and markedly different accounts of the circumstances. BSU does use the incident to highlight the value of AIS aboard smaller vessels.
In its summary investigation report BSU says: “At about 0141 on 17 February 20091, the Ro/Ro ferry Skania, sailing under the flag of the Bahamas, collided with the fishing vessel Gitte, registered in the Federal Republic of Germany, while en route from Swinoujscie, Poland, to Ystad, Sweden. At the time, the fishing vessel anchored approx. 13 nm east of Rügen because of engine failure. For unknown reasons, the watchkeepers on the bridge of the ferry failed to notice the fishing vessel, which anchored on the ferry’s course line, collided with the starboard forecastle and then dragged the fishing vessel with her anchor line until it broke shortly afterwards.