Zhen Hua 10 - stranded off Rotterdam Feb 2008

non descript
21st February 2008, 12:15
From and Copyright of Lloyd's List 21-02-2008

Stranded Ship’s engine power criticised
Helen Hill Amsterdam - February 2008


THE Dutch transport inspectorate has raised questions as to whether the engine power and anchors of the ZPMC crane vessel that became stranded out of Rotterdam, pictured above, are powerful enough to cope with heavy weather, writes Helen Hill in Amsterdam.

The Zhen Hua 10 was carrying five gantry cranes when it ran aground off Rotterdam’s Maasvlakte after breaking free from its anchor in high winds in early February.

In a preliminary report, the Dutch inspectorate said given the “wind sensitive” high cranes, it was questionable whether the Chinese ship has enough engine power.

Further investigation was urged into the engines and anchor strength because these were installed when the vessel was a newbuild oil tanker. The inspectorate asked if these were still sufficient for its current usage now it carries very high container cranes.

Findings have been sent to ZPMC and the Chinese authorities.

With hindsight the vessel was also anchored too close to the coast, the preliminary report stated. This did not allow it enough room to move and avoid grounding. The master had chosen this position to avoid possible collision with other ships in the area, but the report said that he was experienced and should have known that the vessel would not have sufficient room to manoeuvre.

During the trip to Rotterdam, the vessel’s speed had been cut to a minimum when the winds whipped up to force seven and eight, the inspectorate’s report added.

In the case of a similar event, the Dutch inspectors advised that the Port of Rotterdam Authority should not give an anchoring permit. Instead a vessel could be kept sailing off the British coast with a tug escort.

The salvage and towage firm Smit took several attempts to free the Zhen Hua 10 which had a crew of 33 onboard.

A 200 tonne bollard pull tug eventually had to be brought in, in addition to three other tugs, to wrestle the crane ship free from the sand bank.

John Cassels
21st February 2008, 19:15
Knowing the standard of personnel that are employed with the Dutch Port
Control , it's not surprising that the prelim.report covers just about every
eventuality. Must be the easiest job in the world to find faults from behind
a desk !.