Aware Mate - Case Studies

Fatigue-Related Maritime Accidents: Case Studies

Welcome to our dedicated case studies page, where we delve into the intricate world of maritime accidents attributed to fatigue. Through meticulous investigation, we’ve uncovered that a startling number of these mishaps are tied to navigational errors or technical issues, particularly on vessels that lacked a Voyage Data Recorder. On top of that, numerous countries maintain a veil of secrecy over their investigative reports, limiting public access and understanding of these crucial incidents.

To enhance our research we invite you to contribute to our cause. At the bottom of this page, you will find a form where you can report navigational accidents caused by fatigue. Your contribution is invaluable to our research, and we assure you that your privacy and confidentiality will be fully respected.

Grounding MV Flash

Grounding of MV Flash

Motor vessel Flash, a Maltese registered bulk-carrier, ran aground off Ile de la Galite, Tunisia on 25 June 2012. At midnight, the second mate relieved the third mate from the navigational watch.  Subsequently, he sat down on the bridge chair and shortly afterwards he fell asleep. At 0353, Flash ran aground and remained stranded on the rocky shoals of Galitons de l‟est.

Grounding of Antari

Grounding of MV Antari

At 0321 on 29 June 2008 the general cargo vessel Antari grounded on the coast of Northern Ireland, while on passage from Corpach, Scotland to Ghent, Belgium. The officer of the watch had fallen asleep shortly after taking over the watch at midnight when the vessel was passing the peninsula of Kintyre (Scotland).

Nathan E. Stewart and barge DBL 55

Grounding and subsequent sinking Articulated tug-barge

The investigation determined that the second mate, who was working alone on the bridge and was fatigued, was asleep when the ATB passed approximately 1 nm abeam of Ivory Island at the entrance to Seaforth Channel, and did not make the planned course alteration into the channel. The ATB then struck and grounded on a reef.

Grouding of MV Atlantic

Grounding of MV Atlantic

During a voyage from Visby to Oskarshamn, the vessel ATLANTIC ran aground just south of Oskarshamn. The master, who was alone on the bridge at the time and had the Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm System (BNWAS) turned off, has stated that he fell asleep just after he made the turn north of Öland towards Oskarshamn. The information is supported by the vessel’s AIS track, which shows that no course corrections were made following the turn.

Grounding of the Chinese registered bulk carrier Shen Neng 1

Grounding of the bulk carrier Shen Neng 1

At 1705 on 3 April 2010, the Chinese registered bulk carrier Shen Neng 1 grounded on Douglas Shoal. The ATSB investigation found that the grounding occurred because the chief mate did not alter the ship’s course at the designated course alteration position. His monitoring of the ship’s position was ineffective and his actions were affected by fatigue.

Grounding of MV Ince Inebolu

Grounding of Ince Inebolu

During the investigation process on board Ince Inebolu and the meetings held between
the Investigation Team, the Company΄s representatives and vessel΄s Officers, it was
generally striking and mystifying how the OOW slept for over two hours sitting on the
bridge chair, in an almost upright and not so comfortable position.

BBC Marmara

Grounding of MV BBC Marmara

At 0332 on 25 July 2021, the cargo vessel BBC Marmara ran aground on the island of Eilean Trodday while transiting the Little Minch, off the west coast of Scotland. The vessel was on passage from Foynes, Republic of Ireland to Scrabster, Scotland. The MAIB investigation found that: The officer of the watch was asleep when the vessel ran aground. He was alone on the bridge as there was no lookout, and the bridge watch alarm was disabled;

Priscilla grounding

Grounding of MV Priscilla

At 0443 on 18 July 2018, the Netherlands registered general cargo vessel Priscilla ran aground on Pentland Skerries. When approaching Pentland Firth, Priscilla was set to the south of its planned track but this was not observed because the officer of the watch did not monitor the vessel’s progress for about 2 hours; instead, he sat in the bridge chair and watched videos. It is also possible that the officer of the watch fell asleep periodically.

Grounding of MV Horizon

Grounding of MV Horizon

In the early morning hours of 24 July 2004, the loaded container vessel Horizon was downbound from Montréal, Quebec, in clear weather. While off Saint-Anne-de-Sorel, Quebec, the vessel overshot alter course position and grounded along its entire length. The pilot, seated on the port side of the wheelhouse and having the conduct of the
vessel, did not order a timely course alteration. Fatigue may have been a factor in the pilot’s decreased vigilance at a critical time.

MV Vera Su grounding

Grounding of MV Vera Su

At 04:13:43 on 20.09.2021, the motor vessel “Vera Su”, navigating from the port of Yuzhniy, Ukraine to Varna, loaded with 2 837,201 mt Urea, missed a way point for joining in the Traffic Separation Scheme due to the falling asleep of the second officer and ran aground on the Bulgarian coast in the area of Yailata Protected Area.


Collision of MV Flevodijk

It is probable that the accident occurred because a Second Officer who was on the sole look-out on the bridge had fallen asleep, while FLEVODIJK was proceeding north-eastward through the Harima Nada Sea toward the west entrance of the Akashi Strait with the autopilot steering at night, and she proceeded toward the Sea Wall and collided with it.

Tundra grounding

Grounding of MV Tundra

On 28 November 2012, the bulk carrier Tundra departed Montréal, Quebec, under the conduct of a pilot, downbound in the St. Lawrence River for Halifax, Nova Scotia. At approximately 2148 Eastern Standard Time, the vessel exited the navigation channel and ran aground off Sainte-Anne-de-Sorel, Quebec. Fatigue was a likely factor in the pilot’s diminished situational awareness at a critical time when a course change was required.

Kaami grounding

Grounding of MV Kaami

At 0141 on 23 March 2020, the general cargo vessel Kaami ran aground on Sgeir Graidach shoal in the Little Minch on the west coast of Scotland, while on passage from Drogheda, Ireland to Slite, Sweden. The investigation identified that, inter alia: The chief officer, who was officer of the watch, had fallen asleep.

Danio grounding

Grounding of MV Danio

At 0330 on 16 March 2013, the general cargo vessel Danio grounded in the Farne Islands nature reserve, off the east coast of England while on passage from Perth to Genk, Belgium. The chief officer, who was the officer of the watch, had fallen asleep.


Grounding of MV Beaumont

At 0308 UTC on 12 December 2012, the dry cargo vessel Beaumont ran aground on Cabo Negro on the north Spanish coast while on passage from La Coruña to Avilés (Figure 1 overleaf). At the time of the grounding she was proceeding at full speed, and the officer of the watch (OOW) was asleep.

Know of any fatigue-related navigational accidents?

During our investigation into fatigue-related accidents, we discovered that a significant portion of these incidents were attributed to navigational errors or technical issues, especially on ships lacking Voyage Data Recorders.

We are currently expanding our research efforts due to the unavailability of investigative reports from several countries.

If you have any information regarding fatigue-related navigation accidents, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Rest assured, your privacy will be protected.