Ship boat

Hurtigruten Ship Grounds in Norway when returning from the shipyard

Richard With was stranded after briefly losing control while traveling in Bergen, Norway

Posted on August 5, 2022 at 3:04 p.m. by

The Maritime Executive

The Hurtigruten coastal cruise ship, the Richard with ran aground this morning at the entrance to the Sognefjord. The cruise ship was traveling without passengers after an extended shipyard overhaul and Hurtigruten was quick to issue a statement saying the crew had not suffered any injuries and the vessel was not in immediate danger. The Richard with finally floated free at the next high tide.

Built in 1993, the 11,200 gross ton cruise ship normally operates on Hurtigruten’s coastal voyages from Bergen, Norway to the North Cape region. Since February she had been at the Myklebust Verft yard being converted to hybrid propulsion, including the addition of battery power and a connection to connect shore power in ports. She left the shipyard earlier in the week and was heading for Bergen to return to service on 8 August.

The Norwegian Coast Guard and local police received reports that the ship ran aground this morning, August 5, at around 9 a.m. local time, and dispatched helicopters and boats to the scene to determine the extent of the the incident. Hurtigruten has also ordered two tugs to assist the vessel.

“The cause was a technical error in the system, which caused the vessel to temporarily lose control,” the company said in a written statement. “Hurtigruten Norge is investigating the background to the error.”

The company reported that there were 53 crew members on board the Richard with and in addition 14 service personnel who carried out follow-up work after the stay at the shipyard. The company said there were no leaks or environmental damage, but the vessel suffered damage it was investigating.

The tugs had planned to free the ship from the rocks at high tide, but reports said it was floating free on its own as the tide rose. Hurtigruten said the bulb and only a small part at the front of the vessel were stuck on the rocks during the grounding. They reported that the propulsion was working properly.

Norwegian authorities said they were using ROVs to assess the extent of damage to the vessel and would determine what was needed. Hurtigruten later said that in addition to the damage to the bulb, the forward ballast tank was damaged and caught in seawater.

The next navigation for the Richard with was canceled and the ship was cleared by the Norwegian authorities late in the day to leave for a shipyard where she will undergo repairs. Hurtigruten said it expected the ship to return to service for its scheduled August 20 departure from Bergen.