Glasgow & West Scotland

Mechanical fault caused ferry collision

MV Isle of Arran
Image caption No-one was injured when the vessel struck the pier

Ferry operators are being urged to share information after mechanical failure caused a vessel to collide with a pier on the Kintyre Peninsula.

The Caledonia MacBrayne ferry, MV Isle of Arran, was carrying 14 passengers when it struck the pier at Kennacraig on 6 February this year.

No-one was hurt but the vessel and pier were damaged.

A report on the incident blamed the use of an incorrect spare part which had not been fitted correctly or tested.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) report stated: "The accident occurred after control of the starboard propeller pitch was lost due to a mechanical failure.

"Consequently, the starboard propeller remained at full ahead as the ferry made her approach to the berth.

"Although the port propeller was put to full astern, the starboard anchor was let go, and the starboard engine was shut down, this did not prevent Isle of Arran from landing heavily on the linkspan."

The report said several factors contributed to the mechanical failure.

These included "the fitting of a manufacturer's original spare component which was incorrect, a lack of technical information leading to incorrect adjustment, inadequate testing of the pitch control system, and the lack of a robust technical investigation following a previous failure".

The report concluded: "This is one of a number of recent accidents in the shipping industry as a whole in which complacency has undermined the effectiveness of ships' crews.

"Preventing complacency on ferries, which are inevitably engaged on regular and familiar routes, is a challenge for all ferry owners and operators.

"Therefore, a recommendation has been made to the UK Chamber of Shipping designed to encourage and facilitate the regular sharing of experiences and initiatives by UK ferry owners and operators, with particular emphasis on the prevention of complacency."

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