The Capsizing Sequence of the EUROPEAN GATEWAY

On December 19th, 1982, the passenger ferry EUROPEAN GATEWAY capsized close to the port of Harwich, UK, after a collision with the ferry SPEEDLINK VAGUARD. The bulbous bow of the VANGUARD opened the shell of the GATEWAY on starboard side, and the auxiliary engine room was flooded. The water could not immediately spread to the port side due to hydraulic blockage of the machinery, and the vessel listed substantially to starboard. As the stem of the VANGUARD opened also the vehicle deck above the waterline, the vehicle deck became submerged due to the list and water entered into the vehicle deck through the open shell. The GATEAWAY then capsized rapidly to starboard side until she hit the seabed. Six persons lost their live during the accident, one was missing. As a consequence of the accident, the regulations require that intermediate stages of flooding need to be computed during damage stability investigation to ensure that final equilibrium floating position is actually reached. Our simulation shows the capsizing of the ship after the damage until she hits the seabed.


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  • Dankowski, H.: A Fast and Explicit Method for Simulating Flooding and Sinkage Scenarios of Ships. Dissertation, TU Hamburg-Harburg, Schriftenreihe Schiffbau, Report No. 668, 2013