Maritime Computer Emergency Response Team ADMIRAL dataset ADMIRAL dataset

Publicly disclosed information for this event

Index Number:
A software error caused a ship to capsize.
Day Month Year Country Activity Incident Type
7 June 1980 Sweden Ship Malfunction


A ferry with a Gross Register Tonnage (GRT) of 10,000, measuring 72.2 m long and 28 m wide, commenced its maiden voyage from Sweden to Syria in May 1980. Owned by a Swedish company and loaded with a significant amount of cargo, its journey included stops in Gibraltar, Crete, and Athens.

According to sources, as the ship sailed near Athens, it began experiencing steering problems, originating from a software error in its electronic ballast system. This error led to excess water being pumped into the ballast tanks. By the time it reached Larnaca, Cyprus, on 2 June 1980, the listing issue intensified. To prevent potential harbor obstruction, the vessel was towed about 1 km offshore.

Tragically, on 7 June 1980, the situation escalated, and the ship capsized approximately 1500 meters from Larnaca harbor. The consequence of this incident was the sinking of the vessel and a financial loss of an estimated £200 million in cargo.


Rederi AB Nordö

Claimed/Reported Threat Actor




Main impact



Recommendations to Ship to reduce Malfunction risks:

  • Regularly maintain and update hardware and software systems to prevent technical malfunctions.
  • Implement redundancy and failover mechanisms for critical systems.
  • Conduct regular system health checks and diagnostics to identify potential issues early.
  • Establish incident response plans to quickly address malfunctions and minimize downtime.
  • Train IT personnel in troubleshooting and recovery procedures.
  • Ensure the resilience and good working of systems before they are put in production.
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Files generated on Monday, 11th December 2023.
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