Accident round-up: 13th February 2017

Royal Navy warship HMS Dragon rescued 14 sailors who had been adrift in their storm-damaged racing yacht Clyde Challenger (no IMO) for two days in the Atlantic Ocean. The Royal Navy vessel diverted 500m to reach the 13 Britons and one American on board at 14.30 GMT after the mast and rudder had broken off their 60ft yacht on Thursday, about 610m south-west of Land’s End, while it was en route from the Azores to the UK.

Chemical tanker CPO Finland, aided by RAF and US Air Force planes, had tried to rescue the Clyde Challenger’s crew three times, but failed due to bad weather.

Clyde Challenger skipper Roy Graham, said five days after leaving the Azores a large “rogue” wave hit the yacht, dragging the crosstrees into the water, which dragged the mast into the water and snapped it at deck level. Yacht owner Lewis Learning Ltd said that the yacht could not be recovered and was a total loss.

A 45kg gas cylinder exploded on cruise ship Emerald Princess at Port Chalmers, New Zealand, causing the death of one seamen as it flew through the air and landed on the berth. The explosion happened during technical work on the ship’s hydraulic launching system and was apparently so loud that the first reaction was that it was a terrorist bomb. The vessel was detained at Port Chalmers for further investigation, eventually leaving the port a couple of days late. Emerald Princess is 8,400dwt and 113,561grt. According to database Emerald Princess is covered by UK P&I through member Carnival Corp.

Abandoned bitumen tanker Ioli began to suffer water ingress in its engine room while docked off Drammen, southwest of Oslo, Norway. The vessel had been without maintenance or crew on board since October 2016. The water flooded the engine compartment and caused a leak of sludge and lube oils into the water area of the dock. Local authorities took immediate action to prevent the ship sinking. Local fire teams pumped water from the flooded compartment. The situation is under control, but that there has been some leakage and water pollution. Several oil booms were laid around the vessel to restrict the oil spreading, while the local coast guard used cleansing equipment to work on the leak. The crew are understood to have walked away from the Ioli after the shipowner had not paid wages or provided food. The local authorities were unable to ascertain the operator or the owner/charterer responsible for the ship. Ioli is 3,370dwt and the 2,512grt. According to official documents, the vessel is owned and managed by Greece-based Harmonia Shipping Management.

Cruise ship Norwegian Star has suffered more mechanical problems and was adrift in Tasman Sea off the Victorian coast, while en route from Melbourne to New Zealand, after its propulsion system failed. The crew was unable to repair the problem and the vessel, with more than 2,000 passengers aboard, remained adrift. Salvage tugs of the Australian Coast Guard are towing the stricken cruise liner to Melbourne for repairs and inspection. Norwegian Cruise Lines apologized to passengers and offered them cash to help them fly directly to Auckland.

“We hope that you will choose to remain onboard while the ship is docked and enjoy additional time exploring Melbourne and then continue onto on a revised itinerary once the repairs are complete. But for those fatigued by the delays and hiccups, passengers are being offered up to US$350 per person for a flight to Auckland and provide up to US$300 per ticket for a change fee allowance if you wish to fly home immediately,” said a letter from the cruise company to customers. In December 2016 Norwegian Star suffered azipod failure during a journey from Singapore to Bali, leading to an itinerary change and an offer of US$500 to be added to customers’ onboard accounts. In mid-December an azipod failure forced it to skip several ports

on an Asia cruise. Norwegian Star is 7,500dwt and 91,740grt. According to database it is insured with Steamship Mutual through owner Norwegian Star Ltd.

Container ship Victoria ran aground on the evening of February 10th west of Kalundborg, Denmark while en route from Antwerp to Fredericia. Three tanks, ballast and probably fuel, were reported as breached. The vessel was ordered to anchor near the grounding site for a survey, but no leaks were observed. As of 14.00 UTC February 11th the vessel was still at anchor. According to database Victoria is covered for marine loss of hire through Gard AS (claims leader) for client Peter Döhle Schiffahrts-KG.

Product tanker Sagan ran aground in bad weather on the western coast of Suwanosejima island, Tokara Islands, Japan at around 06.00 local time on February 11th while en route from Taiwan to Japan. There is a leak, reportedly growing, and injuries to some of the 18 crew are reported. No details of vessel in P&I databases.

Container ship Merete Maersk lost 43 containers overboard and 85 were damaged while the ship was en route from Tanjung Pelepas to Algeciras. The containers are understood to have been lost in the Mediterranean on February 6th, north of Skikda, Algeria. Some 16 containers were spotted drifting off Algeria coast. According to database Merete Maersk is covered by Britannia P&I through member Maersk S/A.

Chemical tanker Stolt Gulf Mishref is reported to have suffered a breakdown while en route from the USA to India, and needed towage. It will call into a port of refuge. General Average has been declared, said law firm Clyde. “We are already acting for the insurers of three cargo receivers and if you have insured cargo we would be happy to assist in dealing with the defence of GA claims”, the firm said.

A suspicious vessel tried to approach suezmax Rio Spirit on February 4th some 170nm southwest of Akassa, Brass, according to an IMB report: The Master informed the escort vessel which fired warning shots, resulting in the skiff aborting and moving away. According to database Rio Spirit (formerly Princimar Courage, Four Tide) is covered by Gard P&I through member Rio Spirit LLC.

The Nigerian navy foiled two pirate attacks on oil tankers on Feb 8, 2017, in the country’s Atlantic waters and freed 21 crew members. According to Navy Captain Sulieman Dahun, Director of Information at Nigeria Naval Headquarters. He said that the Nigerian Navy Ship Okpabana rescued oil tanker MT Gas Providence, which came under pirate attack off Bonny Island, River State. In a related development, personnel of the Nigerian Navy Ship Victory also repelled a pirate attack on an oil tanker MT Rio Spirit (see above). “The pirates attempted to hijack the oil tanker after she loaded products from Qua Iboe terminal and sailed 110nm south of Akassa in Delta State where the incident took place. “The Nigerian Navy operatives repelled the attack and secured the route of the vessel. Not deterred, the pirates made another spirited effort to hijack MT Rio Spirit 30 minutes after the first attempt which was also repelled.”