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What is stranding ? Cargo ships Stranding accident handling checklist

Difference between stranding and beaching?:
Stranding means when a vessel has run aground, it is accidental. In consequence, the double bottom area of the vessel will probably suffer considerable damage, especially if the ground is rocky. This is physically the same action as beaching, but with the significant difference that beaching the vessel is an intentional action and under comparatively controlled conditions, whereas stranding is accidental. Circumstances will vary with different ships,but selecting a convenient position to ‘set down’ will in all probability never arise. In consequence, the double bottom area of the vessel will probably suffer considerable damage, especially if the ground is rocky.

The method of procedure to follow on stranding can only be an outline, when one considers how circumstances may vary. Here are some guideline to follow:

Prepare records in time series on the matter at the time and after the accident.
stranded vessel
Fig : Vessel in distress

If another ship is responsible for the accident (e.g. illegal navigation), confirm the name of the ship, ship owner, operator, Master, port of registry, last port, and next port, and tender a claim notice

Evaluation of situation

In a stranding accident ship master must use ships own resources to relieve a perilous situation and the best use of any outside assistance which may be obtained.

When a casualty causes any loss of the operational capability of a ship, however slight, the master must evaluate the situation that could arise if no corrective action were to be taken. He must assess how long the present situation can be permitted to continue, taking into account the possible changes in the weather or circumstances such as a drift toward the shore.

The master must take into account the risk of pollution when deciding upon appropriate action.


Plan of action

The master should take whatever action is possible to remedy the situation, initially making the best use of the ship"s own resources until outside assistance can be obtained.

A plan of action should be developed taking account of the following factors:

Investigation of stranding conditions


Investigation of possibility of self-refloating and urgency of danger


Conclusion of salvage contract


Recording of refloating operation


Visitors to the vessel (Interviews with crew members)



Note that seaworthiness of the vessel at the time of sailing from last port is an absolute condition for collecting salvage expenses and contesting cargo interest’ claims.





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