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You are here: Skip Navigation LinksDanish Maritime Accident Investigation BoardNewsMarine accident report about the foundering of the tour boat INUK II on 14 August 2016

Marine accident report about the foundering of the tour boat INUK II on 14 August 2016 

30. December 2016

On 14 August 2016, a tour boat, INUK II, sank in the bay of Ilulissat, Greenland. The 23 passengers and three crew members were evacuated onto another tour boat before INUK II foundered. The accident did not result in loss of life or serious injury. However, the accident provided an opportunity to gain a general understanding of the effectiveness of the tour boats’ design and equipment to handle an emergency. Therefore, the accident investigation had two purposes: Firstly, the purpose of the investigation was to establish the technical circumstances that led to the tour boat losing buoyancy, including the circumstances under which the passengers were evacuated. Secondly, to gain an understanding of the problems associated with implementing the strategies for handling evacuation.

The investigation has established that, during the repairs of INUK II, a hose connecting the aft deck drain to the discharge pipe was removed. After the repairs were completed, the drain hose was not mounted again. Once INUK II was put into operation, it was only a matter of embarking enough passengers before the discharge pipe would be submerged below the waterline resulting in flooding of the boat. On the day of the accident, INUK II was transporting the maximum number of passengers which increased the draught to such an extent that the hull discharge pipe was submerged. INUK II gradually lost all buoyancy as water flowed into the steering gear/storage compartment and subsequently into the engine room.

INUK II was equipped with the mandatory lifesaving equipment and procedures, and was manned with a crew who held valid certificates. However, the investigation into the accident on 13-14 August showed that INUK II’s designed ability to be successfully evacuated could be questioned because of the uncertainty caused by generic procedures and the sparse time available to evacuate the boat. The first problem of uncertainty is relatable to various categories of ships, but the latter problem was closely connected to the size of INUK II and the number of passengers that the boat was certified to carry on board.

The Danish Maritime Authority has informed DMAIB about preventive measures to be taken in 2017.

The marine accident report is in English and is available here.

For further information, please contact head of the board Oessur J. Hilduberg by phone + 45 22 56 53 49 or email


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Øssur Jarleivson Hilduberg
Head of the Board
Phone: +45 22 56 53 49