© 2001 The Independent Fact Group
REPORT: Investigation of M/V Amorella 2001.05.27, Viking Line
Name of ship: M/V Amorella IMO No. - Call Sign: OIWS 7 Captain: - Flag: Finland Length: 169,4 m Breadth: 27,6 m Draught: 6,35 m Gross tonnage: 34.384 Engines: 24.000 kW (Wärtsilä Pielstick) Speed: 21,5 knot Built: 1988, Brodosplit, Croatia Ice class: 1A -SUPER Total capacity: 2480 persons (including crew?) Car deck loading: 450 cars, alternatively 41 trailers Rescue boat No.1: 1 marked for 10 persons, in total 10 persons MOB boat No.2: 1 marked for 26 persons, in total 26 persons Lifeboats No.3-6: 4 marked for 150 persons, in total 600 persons Lifeboats No.7-8: 2 marked for 90 persons, in total 180 persons Liferafts with davit: 71, marked for 25 persons, in total 1775 persons Marine evacuation system (MES): 2, each with 8 liferafts for 50 persons, in total 800 persons Total capacity liferafts, boats and MES: 3391 persons
General opinion of the ship:
The ship gave an impression of being normally maintained, not counting some of the lifesaving appliances as described in this report. The public areas that could be inspected were generally clean and tidy except for the outer decks where there was a lot of litter on deck.
The crew at the information that we spoke with regarding some of the life saving appliances gave the impression of being very unsecure and not familiar with these appliances. The ship was equipped with two rather new marine evacuation stations (MES), but when we tried to find those stations only the one on the port side on deck 7 was easy to find. As this station was located just behind the information we asked about the MES system there. Our questions were:
"Regarding the new MES stations we have found that there are 8 liferafts on each side on open deck 9, but we can only find one MES station inside the ship here just behind the information. Why?"
The female crew in the information answered "The liferafts will be towed from the starboard side to the MES station on the port side."
Then we asked; "Is it correct that there is only one MES station on the ship?"
The crew then went in behind the information desk and spoke with an other crew member who confirmed they should tow the extra liferafts from the starboard side to the MES station at the other side in case of an emergency.
We then pointed out that this cannot be in accordance with the regulations, and they answered that they did not know any more about it, that this is what they have been told. Later, when we left the ship at the port in Stockholm we found the starboard MES station on deck 5 just where you disembark the ship. The station was not easy to spot from the public spaces why we had missed to locate it. Obviously it was hard to spot also for the crew.
You can also see an excerpt of a "safety information folder" received on board
and a leaflet "General alarm" regarding the evacuation routines on board
Certificates and survey:
We did not check the certificates on the ship.
Relevant instruments for this survey:
Safety of Life at Sea 1974, consolidated edition 2001 (SOLAS)
International Lifesaving Appliance Code (LSA)
The International Regulations for Avoiding Collisions at Sea (COLREG)
- Watertight doors in accommodation area on deck 2 open during entire voyage. All watertight doors shall be closed at sea, unless certain doors that may be permitted to remain open if considered absolutely necessary; that is, being open is determined essential to the safe and effective operation of the ship's machinery or to permit passengers normally unrestricted access throughout the passenger area. According to SOLAS a careful consideration shall be made by the Administration (i.e. the National Maritime Administration) to determine exactly which doors may be kept open at sea. In this case all the watertight doors in the passenger area on deck 2 were open in spite of the fact that the deck could be entered through 6 staircases. We can not find it "absolutely necessary" that all doors on deck 2 must remain open at sea to admit "passengers normally unrestricted access throughout the passenger area".
SOLAS CII-1, Reg. 15, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3
Watertight doors (bulkheads) on the cardeck:
The ship was equipped with doors (movable bulkheads from side to side) on the cardeck that should be closed at sea. The doors were installed in accordance with the "Stockholm-agreement" to protect the ship from water freely flooding the deck in the event of an accident. The doors were marked "TO BE CLOSED AT SEA" and they should be closed in place, before the ship leaves the berth and remain in place and secured until the ship is at its next berth.
- The doors were found to be open at sea.
SOLAS C II-1, Reg. 20-4
Muster plans and other postings:
- Muster lists missing at all muster stations on open deck.
- No plans showing the donning of lifejackets were posted at muster stations, nor at most places where life jackets were stored or in other public spaces. We were not able to check inside cabins.
SOLAS CIII, Reg. 8
Muster lists and emergency instructions
1 This regulation applies to all ships.
2 Clear instructions to be followed in the event of an emergency shall be provided for every person on board. In the case of passenger ships these instructions shall be drawn up in the language or languages required by the ship's flag State and in the English language.
3 Muster lists and emergency instructions complying with regulation 37 shall be exhibited in conspicuous places throughout the ship including the navigation bridge, engine-room and crew accommodation spaces.
4 Illustrations and instructions in appropriate languages shall be posted in passenger cabins and be conspicuously displayed at muster stations and other passenger spaces to inform passengers of:
.1 their muster station;
.2 the essential actions they must take in an emergency; and
.3 the method of donning lifejackets.
Picture 1: Muster station on deck 9. (Note that the number of lifejackets are posted on the boxes)
Picture 2: Muster station on deck 11
- Lifejackets were stowed at numerous places on different decks. On deck 9, where a large number of lifejackets were stowed, no instructions regarding the donning of lifejackets could be found. At a few places on deck 10 some small donning instructions in bad shape (often half torn off the bulkhead), were posted showing the donning of lifejackets. The instructions did not include the word "Donning" or "Instruction" in any of the required languages, instead the headline was the name of the shipyard "GREBEN" **. Clear instructions to be followed in the event of an emergency shall be conspicuously displayed at muster stations and other passenger spaces. The instructions shall be drawn up in the language or languages required by the ship's flag State and in the English language. The few instructions found was only partly in Swedish and some in Finnish.
SOLAS CIII, Reg. 8, 4.3
Picture 3: Donning of lifejackets on deck 10, B = Posting, A = Lifejackets stored inaccessible high position, see also further on this report
Picture 4: Donning of lifejackets, instruction partly torn off
Picture 5: Donning of lifejackets, instruction partly torn off
** From http://www.greben.com
"Shipyard GREBEN was founded in 1948 with intention of constructing and repairing wooden vessels. Shipyard GREBEN originated as an existing small private shipyard. Shortly after forming, it started with construction of smaller wooden vessels and after a certain period it started to manufacture fishing vessels up to 30m long. Since 1950 it started to manufacture lifesaving equipment and lifeboats from aluminium alloy. During the sixties development started on GRP lifeboats. In the same year production also included lifeboat lifting and lowering arrangements."
GREBEN is a producer of Lifesaving appliances - Free fall survival systems for ships and offshore - Partly enclosed lifeboats, rescue boats, tender launches and davits for tankers and dry cargo ships - Rescue boats and launching systems - Liferaft launchers and cassettes - Personal lifesaving equipment"
- "Numbers / marking" at Rescue Stations and Muster Stations does not correspond with "numbers / marking" on the mimic plan or muster list. For example, on the plan Muster Stations are marked from "A" to "F", but on deck other stations exist, like "D" on deck 11. See Picture 2 and 6. On deck each Rescue Station is generally marked with a number, for example "9". The marking is not consistently done and the difference between a Rescue Station and a Muster Station is not explained in the mimic plan or muster list. This is very confusing and could result in chaos in a real emergency situation.
Picture 6: Mimic plan from Amorella leaflet, close up
- 14 found, 4 are missing. This ship should carry a minimum of 18 life buoys. At least 1 life buoy on each side of the ship shall be fitted with a buoyant lifeline. No one could be found.
Should be: 9 with light (found 10)
2 of those with light should also be with smoke (found 2)
2 with buoyant lifeline (found 0)
8 additional life buoys (found 4)
SOLAS C III, Reg. 22, 1.1
SOLAS C III, Reg. 7, 1.1 - 1.4
LSA C II, 184.108.40.206
- We did not check the lifejackets individually as they were kept in boxes that were sealed. However we found a large number of boxes that could not be reached. Lifejackets shall be so placed as to be readily accessible and their position shall be plainly indicated. See A in Picture 3 above.
SOLAS C III, Reg. 7, 2.2.2
- Launching instructions only in English. Instructions in Finnish (and Swedish) were missing.
SOLAS CIII, Reg. 9
SOLAS CIII, Reg. 8
Picture 7: Lifeboat launching instruction
- The launching instructions did not seem to correspond with the actual preparation procedures. A high placed inaccessible locking bar that protect the lifeboat from sliding down along its davit were not described in the instructions.
SOLAS CIII, Reg. 9
1 This regulation applies to all ships.
2 Posters or signs shall be provided on or in the vicinity of survival craft and their launching controls and shall:
.1 illustrate the purpose of controls and the procedures for operating the appliance and give relevant instructions or warnings;
.2 be easily seen under emergency lighting conditions; and
.3 use symbols in accordance with the recommendations of the Organization.
Picture 8: High inaccessible placed locking bar
All important means of control, locking devices, winch cranks, hooks and similar had been painted in fluorescent colour. The obvious reason must be to make it easier to identify the means of control in an emergency situation.
- Davit station instructions for launching the liferafts only showed the procedure how to attach the davit lifting hook to the liferaft and, in general terms, how to embark the liferaft at the side of the ship. Instructions on how to get the liferaft from the stowed position in the magazine to the davit was missing. Liferafts held in magazines shall have instructions for both the magazine and davit procedures.
SOLAS CIII, Reg. 9
Picture 9: Liferaft magazine procedure instruction missing
- Instructions how to operate the davits were missing on or in the vicinity of all davit stations.
SOLAS CIII, Reg. 9
Picture 10: Davit instructions missing
- All instructions should be drawn up in the language or languages required by the ship's flag State and in the English language. The only found instructions were for the davit hook procedure, and they were in Finnish and Swedish. English instructions were missing.
SOLAS CIII, Reg. 8
Picture 11: Davit instruction is only general liferaft embarking instructions
Marine evacuation system (MES):
Two Marine evacuation systems had been installed, one on each side of the ship. The evacuation and muster station for the MES was inside the ship on deck 7 (port side) and deck 5 (starboard side). The 8 liferafts serving each of those stations were stowed on outer deck 9 on each side of the ship.
See "General opinion of the ship" in the beginning of this report.
- The installation of the lanterns to use in case the vessel is "Not Under Command" or "Restricted in Their Ability to Maneuver" is faulty. A vessel not under command shall exhibit two all-round red lights in a vertical line where they can best be seen. A vessel restricted in her ability to maneuver shall exhibit three all-round lights in a vertical line where they can best be seen. The highest and lowest of these lights shall be red and the middle light shall be white. "All round light" means a light showing an unbroken light over an arc of horizon of 360 degrees. "All-round lights" shall be so located as not to be obscured by masts, topmasts or structures within angular sectors of more than 6 degrees.
As can be seen in the picture from the mast on Amorella, there are also spare configurations "Red - White - Red" mounted just inside the lanterns on each side of the mast. If any of the ordinary lanterns (the outer ones) are out of order the spare one just inside shall be used. The problem is, that in such case the ordinary lantern will blind the light sector of the spare lantern.
The picture also show that there are one configuration of lanterns on each side of the mast. This is because the mast blind a large angle of the light sector, see especially the lowest lanterns. When such installation is done each lantern must be configurated so that it's light sector only covers a half horisontal circle (180 degrees). Two lanterns will then together cover the full circle (360 degrees). The photos show that it is likely that all lanterns on this installation are "All round lights" with the consequence that, when they are used in the dark, the ship will appear to be two different vessels from some angles.
COLREG Rule 21
COLREG Rule 27
COLREG Annex 1, 9 (b)
Picture 12: Incorrect lantern installation
Picture 13: We have edited this picture to show a correct installation (yellow arrows)
Picture 14: M/V Amorella
The Independent Fact Group