Back to Casualty List | Search The Casualty Database
Precis File
SHIP NAME: Astral KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 3
source CARGOLAW
type A
volume
material
dead
link

Swedish tanker M/V Astral (IMO 9371878) broke loose from anchor off South England in gale winds. Tugs succeeded in towing the drifting vessel to Fawley in spite of winds of 130 km/h. The crew of 10 remained on board . From our Sr. Correspondent Tim Schwabedissen (Tues. March 11 2008)


source MAIB
type A
volume
material
dead
link http://www.maib.gov.uk/publications/investigation_reports/2009/astral.cfm

On 10 March 2008, the Swedish registered tanker Astral dragged her anchor in severe weather and grounded on the Princessa Shoal, east of the Isle of Wight. Astral sustained indentations to her hull and extensive damage to her rudder and steering gear; there was no pollution and the vessel remained watertight. Astral had anchored at the Nab Anchorage, 0.9 mile south of the Princessa shoal on 7 March to await a berth at Fawley Marine Terminal to discharge a cargo of diesel oil. On 9 March, increasingly severe weather forecasts were received predicting gale force winds from the south. Later that evening the duty Vessel Traffic Services Officer (VTSO), monitoring the anchored vessels’ positions by radar, advised all the vessels at anchor of the weather forecast and recommended that their engines should be available if required.

During the early morning of 10 March the weather deteriorated as the wind increased to southerly force 10. At 0650 Astral started to drag anchor to the north. The officer of the watch (OOW) alerted the master at 0710 and requested the main engines, which were on 10 minutes notice, to be made ready for use. The master arrived on the bridge 7 minutes after being called and dispatched the anchor party forward. The engines were available for use at 0721 and the master applied power ahead, however the vessel continued to drag northward and grounded on the Princessa Shoal at 0725. Astral continued to drag and drift northward until her anchor held at 0855. The vessel was taken under tow at 0958 by the tug Anglian Earl.

The managers of Astral have taken action to improve anchoring procedures on their vessels, and to conduct an additional pre-employment assessment of all officers recruited via manning agencies. The local harbour authorities have taken action to improve the information available to seafarers about the tenability of anchorages in their harbour areas and approaches. Recommendations have been made to the operators, to conduct checks to ensure their staff are familiar with, and comply with, their new procedures; to the ICS and NI to bring the lessons from the accident to the attention of their members; and to the local harbour authorities to provide guidance to the VTSOs on the style and conduct of their communication, to reduce the possibility of misunderstanding by non-native English speakers.


source CTX
type C
volume
material
dead 0
link

Captain chose to stay at anchorage exposed to the south in the face of a Force 10 southerly forecast. The OOW was slow to realize they were dragging. He actually was alerted to it by the harbor VTS which could see the ship drifting northward at 2 knots. Captain thought the engines could be on-line sooner than actual, and then failed to apply enough power. They also had problems bringing rthe bow thruster on line.

The ship barely got over the shallowest part of the shoal and the anchor held when the ship was in slightly deeper water to the north of the shoal. Otherwise there is a very good chance it either would have been badly holed on the shoal or drifted onto shore. Very fortunate that a 10,000 m3 spill was avoided.

13 is a ridiculously small crew for an 11000 dwt ship. But it is actually 3 more than the minimum manning level.