© Khunaspix Dreamstime.

This report released on September 5 by the Danish Maritime Accident Investigation Board into the loss of containers from the Svendborg Maersk in storms in the Bay of Biscay in February 2013 may have slipped under the radar, but it suggests that the capacity increase modification to the ship could have contributed to the casualty. The 8,160 teu Svendborg Maersk was caught in the midst of a force 11 storm on passage from North Europe to Asia causing the ship to roll twice at an extreme angle, resulting in the loss of 517 containers and damage to another 250. The ship was the 14th of a series of 16 converted by Maersk in 2012 in an optimisation programme that included the elevation of the wheelhouse by 8.4m, making it possible to add two or three more layers of containers and increasing its capacity by approximately 3,000 teu. According to the conclusions of the DMAIB report the unexpected extreme weather, and the master’s decision making process based on his personal experience, contributed to the casualty. However, it also said that the modifications “may have affected the ship’s ability to operate safely in adverse weather conditions”.

Comment on this article

You must be logged in to post a comment.