NORWEGIAN yard’s reputation loses glitter with Murmansk owners?

June 24, 2021 13:58

The sinking of the Russian "Melkart" trawler during docking at Norway’s Kimek shipyard in March earlier this year may be a blow to the reputation of the facility until now doing a very good business with Murmansk fishing fleets, reports

The conclusion can be drawn from the recent Statement of Murman Seafood Company LLC regarding the incident that occurred with its M-0239 "Melkart" trawler during docking at the Kimek shipyard. The statement originally published in Russian on our sister portal follows below.


On March 24, 2021, after completing repairs at the Kimek shipyard, Kirkenes, Norway, during the descent from the dock, the trawler Melkart received an initial roll to starboard, which was the main and the core reason for the further increase in the ship's roll, the displacement of solid ballast installed by the shipyard on the ship's forecastle deck and in its cargo hold, and other consequences that eventually led to the sinking of the ship.

During the descent from the dock, the shipyard violated the basic rule of ship docking – " the ballast when launching a ship from the dock must be the same as when lifting a ship into the dock."

Before the start of the transport of the trawler from the premises of the covered hangar of the shipyard to the synchro-lift platform, the captain did not give consent to the descent of the vessel from the dock, since the ballast when the vessel was lowered from the dock did not correspond to its parameters when it was lifted into the dock.

This difference was determined by the lack of water on the port side of tank No. 3, which was being repaired while the ship was docked. This tank was painted by the shipyard only in the morning on the day of the ship's descent from the dock, and for this reason, the leading foreman of the shipyard forbade taking water into it.

This discrepancy in the ballast was clear to both the ship's captain and the leading foreman of the shipyard, who informed the captain that he would eliminate this discrepancy by removing the cargo of solid ballast from the starboard side of the ship's forecastle deck, using an automobile crane, when the ship was on the synchro lift platform.

However, this was not done. After loading the crew members onboard the ship, the crane left and the shipyard immediately began to lower the ship from the dock, despite repeated calls from the captain to the leading foreman of the shipyard by phone.

It is quite obvious that during the descent of the ship from the dock, the shipyard did not take any actions to correct the situation, did not suspend the descent of the ship from the dock, but took the position of an observer and continued to lower the synchro lift platform in spite of everything.

It should be noted that all the work on the installation of ballast both during the lifting of the ship into the dock and during its descent was supervised by the shipyard. In the instructions of the Kimek yard, the crew is strictly forbidden to change anything in the ballasting of the vessel on their own, without instructions from the lead foreman of the vessel. In addition, the trawler "Melkart" had docked at the Kimek shipyard several times before this incident, and these operations were always handled by the same leading foreman of the shipyard, who was thoroughly familiar with the design of the vessel.

Murman SeaFood Company LLC does not see the fault of the crew in this incident, which is also confirmed by the conclusions of the Norwegian survey company North Maritime AS, which conducted investigations of this incident and prepared a corresponding conclusion.

The crew could not even leave the ship in protest against the actions of the Kimek shipyard, as they were loaded onboard the ship by a crane and were not able to get off the dock. Moreover, only thanks to the selfless actions of the crew members of the ship Melkart managed to avoid human casualties.

Murman SeaFood Company LLC assigns full responsibility for the incident to the specialists of the Kimek shipyard. This was the result of a careless, negligent attitude to the case, excessive self-confidence and disregard for the comments of the shipowner, the crew, and often the shipowner company itself. This style of work of the shipyard does not comply with the rules of professional attitude to business.

We invite all fishing companies in the Russian North Fisheries Basin to pay attention to this and take it into account in their activities, the statement concluded.

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