Accident round-up : 23rd December 2016

At 01.55 CET on December 22nd offshore tug supply vessel Maersk Battler reported to MRCC Etel, France, the sinking of one of two towed vessels, Maersk Searcher some 80nm west of Brest. Another vessel under tow, the Maersk Shipper, capsized but remained afloat, permitting further towing. However, Maersk Shipper subsequently sank some 87nm west of Brest. The vessels were decommissioned and on their way to Turkey for dismantling. They were therefore

unmanned, fuel- and oil-free. According to database Maersk Battler, Maersk Searcher and Maersk Shipper are covered by Skuld through member AP Møller-Maersk AS.

Ro-Ro carrier Tenerife Car suffered engine failure in the Balearic Sea some 27nm off Valencia, Spain while en route from Barcelona to Algeria with a cargo of cars and 17 people on board. The ship remained adrift between two and three nautical miles from the coast, with stormy seas causing a danger of the vessel being pushed into the shallows or rocks of Safor and Cullera. Four metre waves threatened the stability of the vessel. Lifeboat SAR Mesana and salvage tugs from the local station of Salvamento Marítimo went to the aid of Tenerife Car, which was successfully towed to Valencia for repairs and special survey. No injuries or pollution reported. Tenerife Car is 3,325dwt and 13,112grt. According to database, Tenerife Car is covered by Britannia Club through registered owner Navicar SA.

Bulk carrier Flag Mette suffered loss of propulsion from engine failure on the evening of December 20th while approaching the English Channel from the south-west, en route from Kamsar, Guinea to Stade, Germany. Salvage tug Abeille Bourbon arrived from Brest to take the vessel on tow to Douarnenez Bay, Finisterre, France, where it was brought to anchor on the afternoon of December 21st. According to database, Flag Mette is covered by Steamship Mutual, through member Navigator Spirit SA.

Sailing yacht Dove II was abandoned and adrift in the North Atlantic some 550nm from Fort-de-France, Martinique after its occupants were evacuated in a complex operation. The yacht, which had five people on board, including two children, was caught in a storm, causing water ingress and a danger of sinking in swells of up to six metres. Bulk carrier Newseas Jade responded to the distress call but was unable to evacuate the crew. The cargo ship remained near the yacht and acted as a breakwater. Some hours later bulk carrier Asia Pearl V arrived at the scene, but she too was also unable to rescue the yacht’s crew. Sailing yacht Tilly Mint, which was in the vicinity, headed to the troubled boat and, using the shelter of the two cargo ships, managed to reach Dove II and evacuate the people. Salvage was not possible and the yacht remains adrift and disabled in North Atlantic. The cargo ships resumed their journeys, while Tilly Mint headed for the Caribbean, where the distressed family will be disembarked.

A Pakistani news agency reported a rocket attack on a cargo vessel MV Joya, probably a cargo dhow, in Yemeni waters en route from Egypt to Dubai on the night of December 21st. The vessel caught fire and sank after being hit by one or more rockets. Seven of the eight Pakistani crew are feared dead; one of the crew succeeded in swimming to shore.

Australian sailing yacht Quidditty was washed ashore in stormy weather on a beach in Indonesia on the Savu Sea. All five yachtsmen appear to have been rescued by local fishermen, while the yacht will be salvageable when weather permits.