Fennica Grounding Blamed on Chart


By MarEx 2016-08-04 11:43:47

Arctia’s icebreaker Fennica grounded near Dutch Harbor, Alaska, on July 2, 2015, during a high profile drilling operation in the Chukchi Sea, and an investigation has blamed the inaccuracy of navigational charts which were based on soundings made in 1935. 

Arctia announced the findings this week saying the Finnish Safety Investigation Authority has released the U.S. Coast Guard’s Report of Investigation. 

A marine pilot was on board, and at the time, it was unclear what had caused the ballast tank leak later discovered by the crew. The master, mate and pilot had heard a noise and felt an unusual movement, but assumed it had been caused by the anchor which was being secured after cargo operations with another vessel.

Fennica’s hull suffered a breach around three feet long, and she was forced to return to port. The incident caused a setback to Shell’s drilling plans, as Fennica was transporting essential capping stack required to be on standby for the drilling program. 

The report found no evidence of actionable misconduct, attention to duty or negligence. Rather the incident was caused by an uncharted pinnacle.

A hydrographic survey has now been conducted, and charts have been updated.

The report is available here.