The Sinking Sequence of VINCA GORTHON

On the afternoon of February 28th, 1988, the RoRo-Vessel VINCA GORTHON capsized close to the Terschellinger Bank, Netherlands. The VINCA GORTHON was loaded with 170 MODU-Trailers and sailed with a GM of 0.75m. During the building process of the ship it was suspected that the stability of the ship might have been on the low side. During the time of the accident, the VINCA took the sea abeam from the starboard side. Wind was about 8-10 Bft with waves of abt. 4-5m height. The VINCA was rolling moderately, when suddenly the imperfectly secured cargo shifted and she took a list of abt. 20 Degree, which increased to abt. 35 Degree after further cargo has shifted. During an unsecured opening, water entered into the steering gear compartment due to the action of the waves. Through an open door, the water could spread into the vehicle deck. So the list of the VINCA gradually increased until she then sank on February, 29th, about 07.30. Our simulation shows the sinking sequence of the VINCA when she had already a list of 35 Degree. The animated waves do not reflect the real sea state, they only serve to drive water through the opening into the steering gear compartment. But the sinking sequence is correctly shown until she finally vanishes.


  • Schröder, C.: Numerical Investigation of the capsizing of the Ro-Ro vessel VINCA GORTHON, TU Hamburg-Harburg, Schriftenreihe Schiffbau, Bachelour Thesis, 2012
  • Wöller, M.: Numerical Investigation of the Flooding and Sinking Scenario of the RoRo-Vessel VINCA GORTHON., TU Hamburg-Harburg, Schriftenreihe Schiffbau, Report A152, October 2019
  • Marine Accident Report concerning the heeling and capsizing of the Swedish-flagged Ro-Ro ship VINCA GORTHON in the North Sea on February 28, 1988. Swedish Maritime Investigation Commission, September 1989.