Marine Accidents round-up : 16th May 2017

One crewman died and four were injured when a tanker carrying oil products caught fire at Hamriyah Port, Sharjah, the UAE Sharjah Civil Defence has said. The tanker, identified as the 1991-built Ebrahim 1, caught fire early on the morning of May 13th. The four injured crewmen were transferred to a local hospital and reportedly are in a stable condition. The fire was extinguished by local firefighters after nearly an hour. The tanker was reportedly transporting diesel from the UAE to an unknown destination.

Fire broke out aboard RoRo ferry Giuseppe SA (IMO 7382378) early on the morning of May 14th about 50m off Olbia, Sardinia, while the ship was underway from Piombiono. There were 113 people, consisting of 81 passengers and 31 crew members, on board. The crew managed to suppress the fire with CO2 after sealing the deck and prevented the fire, which began with a short circuit on a truck, from spreading. The ferry was escorted to Olbia where it was moored. All passengers disembarked safely, with no injuries reported. Another ferry took over the service from Olbia to Piombino. 1975-built 12,804 gt Giuseppe SA entered with Standard Club and Shipowners’ Mutual P&I. Registered owner and manager is Moby SpA of Portoferraio, Italy.

General cargo ship Ali Aga (IMO:8121719) suffered water ingress while loading cargo at Çelebi Bandırma, Turkey on May 14th. The vessel capsized and sank at its berth within a few minutes, resting on its starboard side, partially above the water. The vessel had been scheduled to load empty containers in Bandırma Çelebi Port, but had been sidelined because of faulty loading. Twelve people were injured, including crew members and port officers, during the abandonment of the ship. Two were hospitalized but reported safe. The wreck was surrounded by booms to prevent an oil spill. No details of insurance found in databases. Registered owner is Mimas Denizcilik Yapi Taahhut of Istanbul. Commercial manager listed as Ayden Deniz Tasimaciligi VE, also of Istanbul. Turkish video at

The salvage of general cargo ship Southern Phoenix (IMO 8520434) is expected to begin this week. As many as 30 cargo containers came loose from the vessel and the recovery of these was the initial priority. The full salvage team has arrived in Fiji and have carried out the required assessments. Divers confirmed there were no leaks. The small spills that were observed were thought to have originated from air pockets. Investigations continue into what led to the ship sinking. Fifteen containers had been removed from Suva Harbour by May 13, including four tanktainers. Salvage teams removed containers from the site, which were recovered by Port of Suva cranes. Two pollution experts from Maritime New Zealand have been on site since May 11th to assist the MSAF response team. Minor leakages have been cleaned.

Investigators say that a loose cover on a newly fitted helideck fuel depot was the cause of the helicopter crash on luxury yacht Bacarella (IMO 9559755). Video footage showed the cover being sucked up into the main rotor by the downdraft as the Airbus AS 350 came in to land. The main rotor disc was shattered, causing the helicopter to rotate around its vertical axis while moving backwards, striking the sea tail-first. The pilot activated the Emergency Floating System which prevented the helicopter from sinking. A 57-year-old man was reported to be in a critical condition, while the other two on board suffered only minor injuries.

The Maritime Captaincy said at the weekend that it hoped Alex A (IMO 9254836), which has been held by Spanish authorities in the Bay of Ceuta since May 11th, having accidentally broken one of the two fibre-optic cables through which Telefónica provides service to Ceuta, would be allowed to continue the trip to Mauritania on May 15th. The Maritime Captaincy wanted a guarantee of €100,000 because the ship anchored in a prohibited place in the bay, although the Master said that he had been directed to anchor there. The banks were closed at the weekend, meaning that it was not possible to make the deposit of the guarantee requested by the Spanish authorities. Latest AIS Tracker details (18:00gmt, May 15th) had it heading towards the Spanish mainland, across the Strait of Gibraltar, so presumably the deposit has been paid.