Capizing of spilt Hopper Barge

Casualty Circular No. 4 of 2003


                                                                                                                          Dated 28th July 2003


Sub: Capsizing of spilt Hopper Barge



1.1 One split hopper barge was employed for constructing a break-water at Dahej, India. This barge was loaded with rocks and towed / assisted by two tugs to the desired co-ordinates for off-loading. The towing vessel was registered in a foreign country and was manned by persons of different nationality. These persons, however, were certified by their Maritime administration under Near Coastal Voyages (NCV) system.

1.2 While en-route from her loading port and about four kilometers from break-water at Dahej base, the barge capsized. Both the crew members who were on board the barge were rescued and there was no loss of life. At the time of incident, the barge was loaded 80% of her capacity and was drawing 4.4 metres. On leaving for her destination to off-load, the barge was seen to be listing to port.

1.3 The probable cause of this accident appears to be ingress of water, which had gone unnoticed earlier and subsequently increased thereby minimizing the stability of the vessel. It appears that the barge while entering into and out from the harbour and while coming alongside may have suffered some damage on its side which initiated the ingress of water.


2.1 There is an urgent need to bring about awareness for adequate co-ordination between shore and tug personnel who were responsible for towing the barge to the dumping side.

2.2 Vessel must be loaded at all times as per the requirements of approved 'Trim & Stability Booklet'. This important statutory document must address generally all aspects of vessels loading conditions.

3. This issues with the approval of the Nautical Adviser to the Government of India.

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