MAIB investigation report details probable causes of 2022 vessel collision off Hull

MAIB investigation report details probable causes of 2022 vessel collision off Hull

The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has published a report on its investigation into a collision incident involving a fishing vessel and a tug in 2022. The incident occurred on June 24 of that year at King George Dock in Hull, England.

On the said date, while alongside at King George Dock, the crew of the UK-registered fishing vessel Kirkella lost control of its propulsion system and the vessel collided with the unmanned tug Shovette, which was moored ahead of Kirkella. During the collision, Shovette's hull and starboard fuel tank were breached by Kirkella's bulbous bow.

The tug partially sank, which resulted in pollution of about 7,000 litres of marine diesel oil being released into the dock. Kirkella was not significantly damaged and there were no injuries.

Safety issues

  • The pitch levers for Kirkella's propulsion control system were mismatched between the bridge and engine control room when control was transferred.
  • Kirkella's engineer had not checked the pitch lever when control was passed between the bridge and engine room.
  • There was no procedure for control changeover.
  • The classification society's rules for remote control of engines was not aligned with the international unified requirement.


Recommendations have been made to classification society DNV to propose to the International Association of Classification Societies that Unified Requirement M43.12 is reviewed to clarify its intent; and inform its customers that the Rolls-Royce Helicon-X3 system might allow remote control station changeover with mismatched levers and suggest that the manufacturer be contacted for advice. A recommendation has meanwhile been made to Kongsberg Maritime to issue a service letter to its customers advising that the Rolls-Royce Helicon-X3 system remote control changeover process can allow mismatching of levers resulting in the propelling thrust altering significantly, and advise them of methods of operation and/or rectification should these be requested.

Related publications

A safety flyer to the shipping industry was produced with this report. The flyer highlights the risk of mismatched propeller pitch levers during transfer of control together with potential mitigation of this risk.

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Baird Maritime / Work Boat World