© 2001 The Independent Fact Group



REPORT: Investigation of M/V Isabella 2001.05.27, Viking Line


 Name of ship:  M/V Isabella
 IMO No.  8700723
 Call Sign:  OIZD
 Captain:  -
 Flag:  Finland
 Length:  169,4 m
 Breadth:  27,6 m
 Draught:  6,35 m
 Gross tonnage:  34.937
 Engines:  24.000 kW (Wärtsilä Pielstick)
 Speed:  21,5 knot
 Built:  1989, Brodosplit, Croatia
 Ice class:  1A -AL
 Total capacity:  2480 persons (including crew?)
 Car deck loading:  364 cars, alternatively 30 trailers
 Rescue boat No.1:  1 marked for 10 persons, in total 10 persons
 MOB boat No.2:  1 marked for 20 persons, in total 20 persons
 Lifeboats No.3-8:  6 marked for 150 persons, in total 900 persons
 Liferafts with davit:  68, marked for 25 persons, in total 1700 persons
 Marine evacuation system (MES):  2, each with 8 liferafts for 50 persons, in total 800 persons
 Total capacity liferafts, boats and MES:  3430 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. Although the question was simple:

"Why are there no clear instructions regarding donning of lifejackets at the muster stations?"

The answer was, "I don't know so much of that, but the crew will come and assist the passengers in case of an emergency."

Our reply was, "According to international regulations there shall be clear instructions for the passengers, and of course also is in the case there will be no crew for assistance."

The final reply from the crew was, "Well, here is an information folder of the safety onboard, read it and if you have any further questions you can come back." The crew disappeared into the room behind the information obviously not wanting to discuss this matter any further.

As can be seen in this folder "General alarm" there is no information regarding donning of lifejackets.

You can also see an excerpt of a "safety information folder" received on board

Certificates and survey:

Certificate 1:

Passenger Ship Safety Certificate, PSSC.
Issued 30 May 2000, Expires 31 May 2001
Mariehamn Gross ton 34937
Operation limitations SOLAS-74 Ch V Reg. 23

See Appendix 30.5.2000 (appendix not posted)


Certificate 2:

Safety Management Certificate.
Issued 16 December 1998, Expires 2003.

Certificate 3:

Document of compliance
Issued 7 December 1998, Expires 2003.

Certificate 4:

DNV Environmental management system certificate
Cert.No. 970-2001-HEL FINAS
SFS-EN ISO 14001 ed 1996
Issued 20 April 2001, Expires 30 April 2004


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:

Escape routes:

Muster plans and other postings:

Fire safety:


SOLAS C III, Reg. 22, 1.1
SOLAS C III, Reg. 7, 1.1 - 1.4


SOLAS C III, Reg. 7, 2.2.2

Picture 7: Lifejackets stored inaccessible high position, donning instructions missing, number of lifejackets missing

Rescue Boats:


Picture 8a: Lifeboat launching instruction

Picture 8b: Close up of lifeboat launching instruction. Note the almost invisible yellow text "LAUNCHING PROCEDURES" in the top


Picture 9: Liferaft magazine procedure instruction and davit instruction missing

Picture 10: Davit instructions missing

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.

Picture 12: Rescue station A and B

Picture 13: Recess for liferafts at MES liferaft stowage

Lantern installation:

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