Report faults captain in British cargo ship grounding

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A report released Wednesday by Britain’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch found multiple causes for the April 3, 2012, grounding of the 270-foot, 1,750-ton cargo ship Carrier in Llanddulas, North Wales.

The report notes that cargo was being loaded while the weather deteriorated amid repeated warnings of approaching gale-force winds by the U.K.’s Meteorological Office, beginning the previous day.

“The master was keen to load as much cargo as possible and, although he first decided to leave the berth at 1900, he gave the final order to cease loading nearly an hour later,” the report states. “By the time Carrier started to get under way, the weather conditions were too severe to allow the vessel to maneuver safely away from the jetty,” the report said.

The ship was driven onto the shore and suffered substantial damage, spilling about 8,700 gallons of gas oil into the sea. The report also notes technical problems with four RAF search-and-rescue helicopters that delayed the rescue of the crew on the stricken ship. The seven crewmembers ultimately were rescued without injury, but the Carrier was declared a total loss.

The ship was removed from the rocky coast about six weeks later.

The report makes recommendations for ship and port operators to work more closely together to manage the risks associated with cargo operations.

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