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Marine transportation safety investigation M18C0105

This investigation has been completed. The report was released on 19 December 2018.

Table of contents

Steering gear failure and grounding

Product/chemical tanker Chem Norma
Morrisburg, Ontario

View final report


The occurrence

On 29 May 2018, the product/chemical tanker Chem Norma sustained a steering gear failure and subsequently ran aground off Morrisburg, Ontario. The vessel was assisted by the tugs Ocean K. Rusby, Ocean Pierre Julien and Ocean Tundra, and was refloated on 03 June 2018. The vessel sustained damage to its hull, rudder, and propeller. No injuries or pollution were reported.

Media materials

News release


Investigation report: May 2018 grounding near Morrisburg, Ontario
Read the news release

Deployment notice


TSB deploys a team to Port Weller, Ontario, following the grounding of the product/chemical tanker Chem Norma

Quebec, 8 June 2018 — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators to Port Weller, Ontario, following the 29 May 2018 grounding of the product/chemical tanker Chem Norma near Morrisburg, Ontario. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of François Dumont

François Dumont has been an investigator with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada since 2013. Before joining the TSB, Mr. Dumont sailed for twelve years in the merchant navy aboard bulk carriers, tankers, tugs, general cargo ships and icebreakers. He also was a Marine Safety Inspector with Transport Canada for three years. Mr. Dumont holds a diploma from the Institut Maritime du Québec in Marine Mechanical Engineering Techniques, a First Class Marine Engineer’s Certificate for motor vessels, and a Fourth Class Marine Engineer’s Certificate for steam vessels.


  Download high-resolution photos from the TSB Flickr page.

Class of investigation

This is a class 4 investigation. These investigations are limited in scope, and while the final reports may contain limited analysis, they do not contain findings or recommendations. Class 4 investigations are generally completed within 220 days. For more information, see the Policy on Occurrence Classification.

TSB investigation process

There are 3 phases to a TSB investigation

  1. Field phase: a team of investigators examines the occurrence site and wreckage, interviews witnesses and collects pertinent information.
  2. Examination and analysis phase: the TSB reviews pertinent records, tests components of the wreckage in the lab, determines the sequence of events and identifies safety deficiencies. When safety deficiencies are suspected or confirmed, the TSB advises the appropriate authority without waiting until publication of the final report.
  3. Report phase: a confidential draft report is approved by the Board and sent to persons and corporations who are directly concerned by the report. They then have the opportunity to dispute or correct information they believe to be incorrect. The Board considers all representations before approving the final report, which is subsequently released to the public.

For more information, see our Investigation process page.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates air, marine, pipeline, and rail transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.