Danio Owner Fined Over Farne Islands Grounding

Mike Schuler
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March 27, 2014

MV Danio hard aground on the Farne Islands. Image courtesy Titan Salvage.

The German owner of the MV Danio has been ordered to pay $120,000 over the ship’s grounding last year off the U.K.’s Northumberland coast, a relatively small amount compared to what could have been a potentially disastrous situation.

In March 2013, the 262-foot MV Danio spent nearly two weeks hard aground on the environmentally sensitive Farne Islands after running aground March 16, 2013. Severe weather hampered initial attempts to pull the vessel of the rocks, but the ship was eventually re-floated 12 days later with no damage to the environment.

Inside Look: Salvaging the MV Danio from UK’s Farne Islands

An investigation later revealed that prior to the grounding some of the six-man crew had fallen asleep while on watch. With the bridge alarm turned off, the ship sailed for about 90 minutes before eventually running hard aground on the rocks.

In January, the owner of the ship, Germany’s Cux Ship Management, pleaded guilty to failing to maintain a proper look-out on board the vessel and having an alarm safety system which was not switched on, according to a report from BBC. The firm has now been ordered to pay £72,000 for safety breaches and cost of cleanup, for a total of almost US $120,000, the BBC report said.

“It is clear to me the shocking failure to comply with regulations led the vessel to sail on automatically,” said Judge Brian Forster, according to BBC. “The potential for disaster was obvious as it sailed on silently at night, with no lookout, with the threat to other vessels at sea.”

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