Shearwater dredge crash investigation report released


Marine Accident Investigation Directorate just released an investigation report into the shutdown of the Shearwater dredge, after its propeller shafts were fouled by its own tow rope while towing the Agem One barge on April 9, 2020.

The Shearwater was damaged and punctured, causing flooding, after repeatedly colliding with the unmanned barge during the crash.

The situation finally stabilized after the intervention of a lifeboat, a work boat and an emergency tug.

Security concerns

  • The Shearwater was not a suitable vessel for carrying out a long inshore tow, and the planning or safety procedures for the voyage were insufficient;
  • The Shearwater crew lacked the skills for the towing trip and there was no tug master;
  • The safety certification by the flag state did not provide sufficient assurance for the safe operation of the vessel.


Recommendations (2021/124 and 2021/125) were made to the owner of Shearwater to assess all hazards on board and provide safe working systems to mitigate foreseeable risks and to ensure the vessel is manned safely .

“Our report also makes a recommendation (2021/123) to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to ensure that the certification of vessels such as Shearwater includes the application of all appropriate regulatory conditions relating to the intended function and area of ​​operation. of the ship, “the statement read. .

Since the accident, the vessel has been transferred to the flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis.


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