Hoegh Osaka Incident Report

Lots of problems found on the Hoegh Osaka.

A “significant difference” between the actual and estimated cargo weight left it unstable and contributed to the accident, marine investigators found.

“Crucially, the assumed distribution of ballast on board bore no resemblance to reality, which resulted in the ship leaving Southampton with a higher centre of gravity than normal.”

It’s true but misleading to say that estimates are not done after loading.

It also said no stability estimation had been completed after all the cargo had been loaded, which had “become the norm” in the car carrier sector in general.

In my experience SOP is for the ship to get a load plan before arriving at the load port. The stability is checked before the ship even arrives in port…Then as the ship is loaded the mates monitor that the loading is in accordance with the plan. The C/M updates any last minute changes.

Here is as link to the MAIB report. (pdf)

The ship did receive a pre-stow, the captain didn’t send it to the mate.

At 0550 on 3 January, the port captain boarded and met the chief officer, who
advised him that he had not received the pre-stowage cargo plan. The port captain
confirmed that the pre-stowage plan had been sent to the ship, by email, the day
before. The cargo list and loading sequence was not discussed. The chief officer
went to speak with the master, and obtained the pre-stowage cargo plan. He then
went to the ship’s control centre, positioned on deck 13, starboard side forward.

The chief officer spent the majority of the day in the ship’s control centre, where
he used the ship’s ballast system to ensure that Hoegh Osaka remained upright
throughout loading and maintained a favourable trim. It is reported that, during
the morning, the chief officer carried out a departure stability calculation using the
pre-stowage cargo plan figures, which he entered into the Loadstar2mprogram on
the ship’s loading computer. The calculation is reported to have indicated that the
ship would have a metacentric height (GM)3 on departure of 1.46m. Although the
calculated GM indicated Hoegh Osaka would have an acceptable margin of stability
on departure from Southampton, the chief officer noted that it was smaller than he
would normally expect.

Looks like the ship’s crew not in the loop.

As the loading progressed the port captain, in conjunction with the stevedore
supervisor, made arrangements to load some additional high and heavy cargo4
that was on the reserve cargo list. Neither the ship’s duty deck officer nor the chief
officer was advised of the intention to load additional cargo.

This should be a clue, no way lifting the stern ramp, about 150 tons or maybe less in this case, should cause a 7 degree list.

At 1930, a pilot embarked through the stern door and was escorted to the bridge.
The final cargo tally and stowage plan was delivered at the stern door around this
time. The chief officer began to lift the stern ramp, which caused the ship to list to
starboard. The pilot commented on the list, which was estimated as 7° and well in
excess of the usual 1-2° normally experienced.

Good question!

At 2110:30, the pilot gave the order to ‘‘stop engines’’, and soon afterwards he asked
‘‘what the hell is the GM of this vessel?’’

213 tick boxes on the cargo loading checklist. Need to go to 426 and make the ship twice as safe.

he checklists from the PCC/PCTC Operations Manual that were completed by the
chief officer in Southampton were:

  1. Checklist No.1 Prior loading / during loading
  2. Checklist No.2 Prior discharging / during discharging
  3. Checklist No.3 Prior departure port
  4. Checklist No.4 Loaded passage
  5. Checklist No.5 During loading / discharging
    The checklists combined contained a total of 213 tick boxes. All had been ticked as
    affirmative. All five checklists had been signed by the chief officer. None had been
    signed as having been verified by the master (Annex A).

Master’s responsibility for the ship is clear cut and straightforward.

‘The master is the ultimate responsible for the cargo and seaworthiness of the
vessel’. [sic]

The port captain, not so much.

There was no definition of the role or responsibility of the port captain within the
Wallem SMS Manual.