Engine failure and subsequent fire on ro-ro cargo vessel Finlandia Seaways with 1 person injured

Marine Accident Investigation Branch

February 25
00:00 2021

Accident Investigation Report 2/2021

Read our marine accident investigation report, which includes what happened, actions taken, and recommendations:

MAIB investigation report 2-2021: Finlandia Seaways

Annexes to MAIB investigation report 2-2021: Finlandia Seaways

Engine room fire damage


On 16 April 2018, the Lithuanian registered ro-ro cargo vessel Finlandia Seaways suffered a catastrophic main engine failure that caused serious structural damage to the engine and a fire in the engine room. The vessels third engineer, who was on duty in the engine room at the time, suffered serious smoke-related lung, kidney and eye injuries during his escape.

The investigation identified that the catastrophic engine failure and been initiated by the failure of a single component and found that the standard and management of maintenance carried out by the vessel operators maintenance support contractor was a significant causal factor.

Safety Issues

  • the engines connecting rods had not been maintained in accordance engine manufacturers instructions

  • defects introduced during component overhauls had not been identified by the ships crew or the companys technical superintendents

  • the significance of the damage caused to the connecting rod small ends during overhaul was not fully appreciated and although a Class survey item, Class was not kept informed.

  • there were no emergency escape breathing devices on the secondary escape route used by the third engineer


A recommendation was made to MAN Energy Solutions and Lloyds Register (2018/121) to provide technical advice to DFDS on the actions the company should take to minimise the risk of a similar catastrophic engine failure, and any other vessel operators whose MAN engines might have been subjected to similar maintenance practices.

Further recommendations aimed at addressing the safety issues raised in this report have been made to the vessel operators, DFDS Seaways AB-Lithuania and its engine maintenance support contractor (2021/102), Diesel Service Group (2021/103-105).

Published 25 February 2021

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