Grounding of General Cargo vessel age over 25 years during severe monsoonic months in Indian waters

Casualty Circular No. 3 of 2009


NO:11-NT(59)/2007                                                                           Dated: 30.03.2009


Subject: Grounding of General Cargo vessel age over 25 years during severe monsoonic months in Indian waters




A General cargo vessel- Flag Foreign - built in 1978- approximate DWT 10500 in ballast condition, departed from Kandla port with 1000t of part loaded, coated steel pipes for onward loading at Porbandar in Indian waters. Upon arrival, vessel anchored off Porbandar break water as was expected to berth on arrival. However, the loading schedule was postponed. During this time, normal pre-monsoon weather (occasional showers) was prevalent. No efforts, were made to shift anchor position away from break water (or land) despite change of vessels berthing schedule, now known to the Master. On 4th day while vessel lay at anchor, weather deteriorated in the evening as barometer fell by more that 4mbs. Vessel began to drag anchor. It was decided to pick up anchor and head for shelter in Gulf of Kutch. However, due to strong beam sea & swell, vessel was unable to steer and was pushed to shallow waters. Thereafter, an incessant inclement weather conditions pushed the vessel hard on to rocky sea shore about 20 Km northwest off Porbandar (in the village Ratadi, dikst. Porbandar) in position 21 44.6N & 069 27.80E.




  • Ships propeller was not fully immersed.
  • Vessels passage plan not considered safe.
  • Competence of officers including Master was questionable.
  • Operation of vessel raised clear doubts to the effect of Safety Management System,
  • Efforts by the Master/crew to avoid grounding was not enough.




  • Mariners and other stakeholders to enhance safe operation of ships are advised to adhere to the M.S. Notice No. 12 of 2008 issued by the D.G. Shipping on Monsoon Advisory available on D.G. Shipping website
  • The port should exercise extra vigilance by establishing control stations and monitoring the movement of the vessels through Vessel Traffic Information Management System.
  • The relevant authorized authority of the Coastal States should make sure that the vessels calling their ports should be meeting national and international regulations applicable to type of ships with respect to oil pollutional damage liability, wreck removal and other safety standards.


The Directorate urges the owner of ships, port authority, and other stakeholders to adhere to the safe practice of good seamanship during dragging of anchor & maneuvering of the vessel especially in monsoon months in Indian water.


(Capt. Deepak Kapoor)
Nautical Surveyor-cum-DDG (Tech)

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