The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch
(MAIB) issued the report of its investigation of an oil tanker, on June 25, 2007, dragging its anchor in the North Sea five miles east of Teesport and snagging a natural gas pipeline, resulting in material damage to the pipe, but no release of product. Due to heavy weather, the ship started to drag anchor. While weighing anchor so as to get underway, the ship’s windlass hydraulic
motor exploded and the cable ran out to the bitter end. The tanker continued to drag anchor and snagged the pipeline. When the ship yawed, the anchor came free of the pipeline, but not before dislodging and damaging the pipe. The anchor later held as the ship rode over a shoal patch. Investigation revealed that the anchorage
was not recommended in the forecast conditions and that the risk of placing a pipeline and an anchorage area in close proximity had not been properly evaluated. Interestingly, the local port authority had specifically approved the anchoring. Report No. 3/2008 (HK Law).