NTSB cites bollard failure in Boston boxship allision


The following is a marine accident brief from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB):

(WASHINGTON) — On Dec. 6, 2017, at 0003 local time, the Panama-flagged containership Helsinki Bridge was moored in the Reserved Channel port side to the Paul W. Conley Container Terminal in Boston, Mass. While the vessel was engaged in cargo operations at night during a period of moderate-to-high winds, a mooring bollard to which five of the vessel’s head lines were secured failed. As a result of the bollard failure, the wind caused the vessel to drift away from the terminal and the remaining nine mooring lines to part. The vessel’s bow then swung across the channel and struck the Raymond L. Flynn Black Falcon Cruise Terminal pier. There were no reports of pollution and no injuries among the 24 crewmembers and 10 longshoremen on board. The damage was estimated at $570,000 for the vessel and $40,500 for both terminals.

Probable cause

‚ÄčThe National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the breakaway of the containership Helsinki Bridge and subsequent allision with the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal was the failure of Massachusetts Port Authority to provide suitable berthing arrangements during ongoing construction at the Conley Container Terminal, which resulted in the overloading and failure of a single mooring bollard. Contributing to the accident was the lack of preparation by the vessel’s master, who was aware of the less-than-suitable mooring arrangements and the deteriorating weather forecast but took no mitigating action to address the situation.

Click here to read the full report.

By Professional Mariner Staff