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GROUNDINGS – Shallow Waters, Deep Trouble

The consequences of a vessel running aground vary in severity, but they are potentially devastating. In those instances where the vessel becomes a constructive total loss, environmental damage arises or is threatened, and there is a requirement to remove the wreck, the resulting liabilities can be enormous. In many countries the cost of wreck removal is not constrained by limitation, and as ships become ever larger the cost of such operations escalates accordingly, particularly when the location of the casualty is remote or subject to adverse environmental conditions.

Notwithstanding the increasing sophistication of navigational equipment and other machinery on vessels, and the quality of training, groundings continue to occur; sometimes in circumstances which challenge credulity. In recent years these incidents have been responsible for a very high proportion of the largest claims paid under the International Group’s Pooling and Excess Loss Reinsurance arrangements.  

In many cases a stark contrast often exists between the apparent simplicity of the cause of the grounding, and the severity of the consequences.  The film examines a number of grounding incidents and their causes and has been endorsed by the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch and the Nautical Institute. The film has been produced with the financial support of The Ship Safety Trust with the objective of raising awareness of the causes of groundings and their consequences and to assist in avoiding unnecessary loss.

The Groundings - Shallow Waters, Deep Trouble film was launched at a premiere before an invited audience at the Museum of London on the 5th September 2013.  Copies of the DVD were distributed to Members for use on their vessels.

Any further information can be obtained from the Loss Prevention department [email protected].


"Excellent. A must-see film for any watch keeper or ship’s manager"

Steven Clinch, Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents, Marine Accident Investigation Branch

"A very elegant and honest documentary that goes beyond the obvious. Helps us appreciate the invisible, underlying causal factors and consider real solutions. A must watch for both mariners and managers alike".
Capt.Sivaraman Krishnamurthi FNI, President, The Nautical Institute