|C13/2001M MS TRADEN, incident caused by cargo shift in the Atlantic, October 19, 2001||Text version|
Ro-ro cargo vessel ms TRADEN, en route from Valencia to Norrköping, occurred in emergency due to a severe cargo shift. The cargo shifted when the ship got into a storm for more than two days and into exceptionally troublesome confused seas.
The cargo shift took place in stormy Atlantic after passing Portugal, when containers on weather deck and Pendolino railway carriages on main deck came loose from their lashings. The containers came loose when fastenings on the deck broke and the railway carriages shifted because trestles below them had collapsed.
The crew managed to secure most of loosened cargo. The ship was in emergency due to an apparent risk of capsize, and a general alarm for “ship abandon” had been given. One life raft was lost during launching, and safe abandoning of the ship was not possible. The storm relented before an accident took place and the TRADEN was able to proceed with own power to haven.
Containers on the weather deck were fastened to D-rings, which were too weak. D-rings had become thinner but did not break, whereas welding junctures of D-ring fastenings were torn. After the emergency the D-rings have been replaced with new ones, and fastenings have been made clearly stronger than the broken ones.
Loosening of the Pendolino railway carriages was a consequence of the manner to fasten the trestles to the deck. There were degrees of freedom for motions / free unfastened motion direc-tions without fastenings at all, and therefore the loose trestles’ legs were able to move and the trestles to collapse.
The shipper had determined principles and implementation of cargo securing but the master criticized about supporting the railway carriages on wooden beams. However, the critics was not taken into account in the final lashing.
The ship was relatively lightly loaded and this was compensated with ballast. The draught was, however, quite small in the current loading condition, and the ship was very stable, which increased loads acting on cargo. Bilge keels had been removed during previous docking because of ice damage, which also increased roll motion and loads on cargo.
The ship carried a Cargo Securing Manual according to the IMO Resolution A.714(17) and accepted by the Finnish Maritime Administration. However, as the manual was obscure, very extensive and partly inadequate, it was not in use. It lacked partly essential and guiding data of lashing of cargo.
Accident and success lie sometimes very near each other. Decisions, orders, and actions taken can be the same, but they can lead coincidentally to a different end result. Accident investigation can not explain this difference. In case of the TRADEN it can be only stated that master’s decisions and crew’s actions were correct. They saved the ship and the crew. It is possible, however, that the actions taken had not helped. An accident was nearby.