MAIB Report 4/2020 Grounding of the ro-ro freight ferry Seatruck Performance in Carlingford Lough, Northern Ireland

Safety issues (see full report)

  • the potential for squat was not considered when calculating the ferry’s under keel clearance before departure, or when considering its speed
  • shallow water effects were experienced as the ferry approached the intended alteration, which affected both heading and speed, due to the under keel clearance and the proximity of a charted bank on the south side of the channel
  • the master was steering by hand, which reduced his ability to maintain an overview of the situation, and a lack of support from the bridge team made him a single point of failure
  • the navigational practices being used by Seatruck Performance’s bridge team did not fully incorporate the electronic aids available and were insufficient to assure the vessel’s safe outbound passage, at night, through the Greenore Channel


Seatruck Performance’s owner and manager, Seatruck Ferries Ltd, has taken action to raise awareness of shallow water effects and improve onboard passage planning. The company has been recommended (2020/108) to take further measures to ensure the safe navigation of its vessels by optimising its use of electronic navigation systems and enhancing its Bridge Resource Management training.