News Item

Human error caused N Sea collision?

The manager of the Baltic Ace car carrier has stated that human error was probably the cause of the collision.

The Baltic Ace, a 148 m car carrier, was en route from Zeebrugge, Belgium, to Kotka, Finland when it collided with the 134 m Corvus J container ship, en route from Grangemouth, Scotland, to Antwerp, Belgium.

The collision occured in the North Sea ~50 NM off Rotterdam at 1815 UTC on 5 December. The Baltic Ace sank quickly, with the loss of 11 of the 24 crew; Corvus J was damaged but not in danger of sinking, with all 12 crew members remaining on board.

The Operations Manager at Stamco Ship Management, which managed the Baltic Ace, has said that technical failure was extremely unlikely because the ship was just 5 years old, in very good condition and had passed a safety inspection in August.

He added 'You cannot control some things. This happened in good weather, normal weather. There was good visibility, so I feel most probably there was a human error.'

The Baltic Ace - carrying 1,400 new cars - was said to be insured for $50-60 million.

Details from Reuters below . .

  • 08 December 2012
  • MTNG

Contact Us

The Royal Institute of Navigation
1 Kensington Gore

+44 (0)20 7591 3134

E-Mail Communication

The Royal Institute of Navigation periodically sends out email updates to its membership and those who have subscribed to events and conferences run by the RIN. In doing so, the RIN takes all reasonable precautions to ensure that the emails are only sent to those who have requested them, and that no third party can make unauthorised use of any email address to send out mailings.If you receive unsolicited mail from any address then please inform us at and we will take appropriate action.

Join the RIN

You can apply for any category of RIN membership by completing the online membership application form and paying using our secure credit/debit card payment system.

Join Now