European Causeway Report Published

Shift of freight vehicles during a ro-ro passenger ferry crossing from Larne, Northern Ireland to Cairnryan, Scotland, resulting in damage to several vehicles

Our accident investigation report into the cargo shift onboard ferry European Causeway during heavy weather on 18 December 2018, is now published.

The report contains details of what happened, the subsequent actions taken and the recommendation made: read more.

Statement from the Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents

The MAIB investigation identified that the forecast weather conditions had not been sufficiently considered when setting the course of the ship, nor the application of lashings to freight vehicles loaded aboard. The investigation further highlighted the problem of freight drivers remaining in their cabs on the vehicle deck when the ferry is at sea. Drivers remaining in their vehicles not only put themselves at risk, they place at risk other passengers, and anyone who has to rescue them. Perhaps, most importantly, crucial emergency responses, such as to a fire, can be delayed until all passengers are accounted for.
I have written to the senior management of short sea ferry companies around the United Kingdom to further highlight the dangers posed by freight drivers remaining on vehicle decks, and to encourage them to take a collective approach to eliminate this dangerous practice.
In addition to the work that they have already undertaken, we have recommended that P&O Ferries Ltd enhance their safety management system, to provide ship’s crew with better guidance concerning the stowage and lashing of freight vehicles in adverse weather conditions.

Earlier last year, we issued a safety bulletin highlighting the dangers of drivers remaining in vehicle cabs while ferries at sea.