MV Amber accident report issued by UK MAIB

By Accidents

The report on the MV Amber accident have been issued by UK MAIB. On November 15, 2012, shortly after she had departed from Tilbury, she went aground on the south shore of the River Thames.

The ship was maneuvering from the berth on the north shore but due the heavy fog there was no connection with the ship's team on the bridge and MV Amber grounded the south side of the Thames.

The reason for the accident have been defined by UK MAIB – the lost of situational awareness, due to the dense fog, by the team on the bridge as the ship was leaving the berth. They did not clearly specified their responsibilities and roles, the ship was not monitored by continuous radar and that why the speed and the course of MV Amber during the manoeuvre were lost.

The Port of London Authorities gives the following recommendations regarding the incident:


The pilot/master exchange form should include:

Clearly specified requirements for the bridge team – reference to their responsibilities and roles.

The form should refers the relative power of the tugs engine with the one of the ship being helped.

The instructions to VTS staff and port controllers should be reviewed in order to ensure:

The commercial considerations should never compromise safety and the decision, regarding the course on the vessel, taken on the port should be respected

In case of limited visibility, the ship's movements should be guided by a duty port controller. He should provide assistance in navigating the vessel taking into consideration all parameters to lower the risk. Those parameters might be the requirements for the number of the pilots or the one for all ship to be fully equipped with radar and navigation that are fully in function.

If there is a need of refloating a ship that is aground, a damage assessment should be done.