The U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) informed that the ship’s master of the passenger ship MV Hamburg, pleaded guilty to two charges at Belfast Magistrates court on June 16.

On May 11 this year, the passenger ship was damaged going over rocky shoals, while trying to call the port of Tobermory. Before the incident, Bahamian-registered ship was en route from Dublin to Hamburg.

Ship Master pleaded guilty for Cruise Liner Grounding

The ship master, Joao Manuel Fernandes Simoes, pleaded guilty to failure to properly passage plan in breach of SOLAS. Also he pleaded guilty for a delay of the incident report, which is in contrary to the Merchant Shipping vessel traffic monitoring and reporting requirement regulations.

MV Hamburg remained outside, about two miles, to the North East of Tobermory, because at the port there already were  two other cruise liners and the bay could not be entered.

The call to enter the bay came at around 1 pm local time and the captain set a course direct to the port.The ship passed close to a starboard side of channel buoy, but the approach was from the north of the buoy over rocky shoals, not the west, where it was safe.

The port side grazed along the side of the rocks and the propeller struck, causing temporarily black out of the propulsion system. One of the ship engines could no longer be used and MV Hamburg entered into Tobermory Bay in a very slow speed.

Later, the ship was instructed by owners to proceed to Belfast after an internal inspection, which concluded that the ship was fit to sail.

The ship master was fined in total £813 (£400 for each charge and £13 costs).

Fraser Heasley, the Surveyor in Charge of MCA Glasgow commented:

“This incident could very nearly have ended in tragedy. The master failed in his duty to keep a proper lookout and to ensure the safety of his passengers and crew. Following the grounding he proceeded directly to Belfast without notifying the appropriate authorities or accurately assessing the extent of bottom damage by an underwater dive survey.”