The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has published a report on the grounding of Muros which ran aground off the Norfolk coast in December 2016

The bulk carrier Muros ran aground on Haisborough Sand, 8 miles off the Norfolk coast in the early hours of 3 December 2016.

Due to a falling tide, attempts to manoeuvre the boat clear of the shallows were unsuccessful.

The bulk carrier ran aground when it was following a passage plan shown on its electronic chart and display information system (ECDIS). There were no injuries or pollution during the accident but Muros suffered damage to the rudder and had to be refloated six days later with the help of a tug boat and towed to Rotterdam for repair.

The plan had been revised on the ECDIS three hours before grounding by the Officer of the Watch (OOW) who then used the system to monitor the vessel’s position. However the master of the Muros had not seen or approved the plan.

Continues below…

In the report the MAIB said that: “A visual check of the track in the ECDIS using a small-scale chart did not identify
it to be unsafe, and warnings of the dangers over Haisborough Sand that were automatically generated by the system’s ‘check route’ function were ignored.  The second offcer monitored the vessel’s position using the ECDIS but did not take
any action when the vessel crossed the 10m safety contour into shallow water. The effectiveness of the second officer’s performance was impacted upon by the time of day and she may have fallen asleep periodically. The disablement of the ECDIS alarms removed the system’s barriers that could have alerted the second officer to the danger in time for successful avoiding action to be taken”.


MAIB found the following safety issues:

  • The revised passage plan was unsafe
  • The visual check of the revised route was not conducted on the ECDIS at an appropriate scale
  • The master directed the OOW to revise the route but he did not see or approve it
  • ECDIS safeguards were ignored, overlooked or disabled
  • The OOW’s performance was probably adversely affected by a low state of alertness
  • ECDIS use on board Muros was not as envisaged by regulators or equipment manufacturers

MAIB has yet to make recommendations. It has started a safety study with the Danish Maritime Accident Investigation Board to understand how the electronic chart display and information system  is currently being used on board ships.