UK MAIB Investigation: Collision between a general cargo vessel and a split hopper

The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has published its investigation report about the collision between the general cargo vessel Scot Carrier and the split hopper barge Karin Høj, Sweden.

The incident 

The collision resulting in the capsize of the barge with two fatalities in the Bornholmsgat trafc separation scheme.

On 13 December 2021, the UK registered general cargo ship Scot Carrier and the Denmark registered split hopper barge Karin Høj collided in the precautionary area adjacent to the Bornholmsgat traffic separation scheme, Sweden. As a result of the collision, Karin Høj capsized and its two crew lost their lives.

The vessels collided after the second officer on board Scot Carrier altered course at a planned waypoint without checking the traffic in the area or that it was safe to execute the manoeuvre. Following the collision, Scot Carrier’s second officer did not immediately call the master or raise the alarm, but returned the ship to its original course and speed.

Danish and Swedish coastguards were alerted to the incident following the activation of Karin Høj’s emergency beacon and determined that the two ships might have collided. The Swedish Coast Guard subsequently questioned the second officer about the track of Scot Carrier via very high frequency radio and, 17 minutes after the collision, the master was fnally alerted to the situation and sounded the general alarm.


The investigation found that neither vessel had posted a lookout during the hours of darkness. It further established that Scot Carrier’s second officer was distracted throughout his watch by the continual use of a tablet computer and had also consumed alcohol before taking over the watch. It was not possible to establish what actions were taken by the crew of Karin Høj because the vessel was not fitted with a voyage data recorder and there were no survivors.