27 November 2020
RMT Press Office
RMT remembers the victims of the MV Swanland tragedy and commits to fight for higher seafarer safety standards
SEAFARERS’ UNION RMT today remembered the six crew members who lost their lives on this day in 2011 when the MV Swanland sank in the Irish Sea.
RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash said;
“Today we pay our respects to the families and loved ones of the six Russian seafarers who lost their lives when the cargo ship MV Swanland sank off the North Wales coast on 27 November 2011 en route to the Isle of Wight.Two crew survived this tragedy but five of their shipmates’ bodies were never recovered.
“The MAIB’s investigation found that catastrophic structural failure caused this tragedy but no one from the Cook Islands flag of convenience, the ship management company, classification society or shipowner were ever held to account for allowing a sub-standard, 34-year old ship to sail in UK waters, with fatal consequences for six seafarers.
“RMT continue to fight for the highest maritime safety standards to protect all seafarers’ lives in UK and international waters.”
Notes to Editors
1.The Maritime Accident Investigation Branch report into the MV Swanland tragedy is here.
2. The MAIB found that the 34-year old ship had suffered a structural failure when carrying a cargo of limestone in rough seas 17 minutes after departing Llanddulass.
3. Multiple shortcomings were found by MAIB which contributed to this tragedy, including: “…non-compliance with the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargo Code, insufficient loading information, a lack of effective safety management, poor quality of survey and audit, lack of oversight of the classification society by the Flag State and the financial pressures of operating this type of vessel in the current economic downturn. The investigation also identified several safety issues concerning the immersion suits and lifejackets available on board the vessel.”
4. Under regulations introduced in 2012 after the MV Swanland tragedy, MAIB investigation reports cannot be used in subsequent legal cases to determine liability for a maritime accident.
5. The subsequent inquest into the deaths of six seafarers on the MV Swanland returned a verdict of ‘death by misadventure.’