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SHIP NAME: Bergitta KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 3
source CARGOLAW
type A
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Norwegian M/T Bergitta, with 100.000 tons oil for Dutch port of Rotterdam -- in collision -- with 21.584grt Panamaian, Mediterranean Shipping Company chartered M/V MSC Eyra (ex-Kapitan Kozlovsky) (built 1982) on Oct. 25 between Danish islands Seeland and Fuenen in Baltic S. of Great Belt Bridge. Vessels hit port to starboard -- as they changed course at last minute. M/T Bergitta after inspection allowed to resume her voyage.


source Danish Maritime Authority
type L
volume
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link http://www.sofartsstyrelsen.dk/sw7785.asp


source CTX
type C
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The Danish Maritime Authority reference is the official investigation report and like most port state investigations as opposed to flag state, it is a pretty good one. This collision is interesting in that both AIS and communications (albeit late) were involved.

Weather was Beaufort 3-4, but it was dark with a visibility of 0.5 to 0.8 miles. The Bergitta was going north (outbound) in the Great Belt at 12 knots loaded. The container ship MSC Eyra was going south at 18 knots. The situation was complicated by the fact that the Bergitta had to make a turn to port at the Agersoe Flak lighthouse to stay in the fairly narrow deep water channel. (This turn has produced a number of near-misses and at least one grounding from ships trying to avoid each other.) The Eyra had originally intended to cross in front of the Bergitta effectively starboard to starboard. But the Bergitta pilot had Eyra on his AIS and called Eyra and requested a port to port passing to which the Eyra agreed, and started turning to starboard. But with a 30 knot closing speed, it was a bit late. In the last few minutes both ships went hard to starboard, generating a lot of stern swing. The port stern of the Eyra slid into the port stern of the Bergitta, causing a sizable indent. But neither hull was holed, and there was no spill.

Despite the stern swing, twin screw would probably not have made much difference, At these speeds, rudder forces are much stronger than the turning forces produced by differential throttle. It would have taken a cool head indeed to use differential throttle in this situation.

Both ships had been in contact with the Great Belt VTS which observed the whole thing. But as usual VTS had no influence on the casualty. The real problem here is that the ships have become to big for this difficult turn. The solution is an air traffic style VTS which schedules the ships so that they are not meeting at the Agersoe Flak junction at the same time.