How to do Intentional Grounding or Beaching of a Ship?

The master of the ship is the overall in charge of the operations while trading in international waters. When it comes to safety of the crew and ship, he has to quickly decide the course of action keeping in mind the after effects of the same.

One kind of emergency situation which can really test skills and ability of a ship’s captain is -Beaching of the ship.

What is Beaching of the ship?

Beaching is a process wherein during an emergency situation a ship is intentionally taken towards shallow waters and at last grounded.

Intentional Grounding or Beaching of a Ship

The word Beaching is used for such process because the type of emergency grounding is done only in those areas where the ground is of soft mud or sand (as in a Beach) in order to avoid damage to ship’s hull, propeller, rudder etc.

Why Beaching is done?

The three main reasons for which Beaching of ship is done are:

  • To prevent loss of ship due to flooding when there is major damage below the water line of the ship
  • To refloat the ship when satisfactory repair has been done and water tight integrity is restored
  • In order to hand it over to the scrap yard

Procedure to Perform Beaching of Ship

  • Ballast the ship to its maximum capacity
  • Check where the damage is more-bow side or stern side. Head with the damage side for beaching with 90 o to the tides
  • Take all measure to avoid ship going parallel to the beach (throw weather anchor first)
  • If approaching from astern due to stern damage, drop both the anchor at good distance so that they can assist the vessel in heaving when going water
  • Sounding of all tanks must be done before and after beaching



  1. Which type of ship can be beached? I mean suppose I found that my double hull tanker of 95000 dwt in loaded condition is in imminent danger of foundering off the MUMBAI COAST and beaching is the only way to save the ship and crew so can proceed to beach the ship?? I mean that is it okay to beach the ship ? is there any law or regulations which says that i can do so?

  2. I living at BHAVNAGAR in gujrat & along shipyard are very very wide so I interested come at alang for braking ship for beaching context no 9712669111

  3. Say there is an emergency, and a big tanker has to be ‘beached’. Does the local authorities allow this? Any regulation consequences (damage to the shore etc)?

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