In its research for the Dutch Safety Board, MARIN concluded that four mechanisms are the most probable explanations for the loss of containers: Extreme ship motions and accelerations due to roll resonance, ship contact with the sea bottom, impulsive loading on containers due to green water and slamming-induced impulsive loading on the hull. To determine the wave heights at which ships can safely sail above the Wadden Islands, beside an Ultra Large Container Ship (ULCS),
a PANAMAX and Feeder were tested in MARIN test facilities. Both the shallow southern route (21,3m) as well as the deeper northern route (37,5m) were investigated.
Based on the results of the present investigations MARIN derived preliminary limiting wave heightsfor these ship types and routes. With wave heights above these preliminary limiting wave heights, the loading on the ships and their cargoes can exceed their capacity (safe values). They are summarized in the table below, with the limiting mechanism between brackets. The limiting mechanism is different per ship type and route.