Cargo ship capsizes in English Channel

General cargo ship Britannica Hav (IMO 8506440) turned over after being struck by general cargo ship Deborah – Z 121 in the English Channel during the afternoon of March 20th when some 50 miles north-east of Cherbourg.

Britannica Hav, which was carrying a cargo of steel from Santander, Spain, to Keadby, Scunthorpe, UK, was breached amidships on the port side, suffered water ingress and capsized. The seven crew members of the freighter evacuated the ship on two liferafts and were recovered by the Deborah.

The CROSS Jobourg immediately deployed a Cayman Navy helicopter stationed at Maupertus with a team from the Querqueville Army Medical Centre, Cherbourg, France, on board to take care for the crew, one of whom was slightly injured. The castaways were hoisted by helicopter and transferred to the Querqueville military base for further treatment. The captain of the fishing vessel was also slightly wounded on the head but did not wish to be evacuated. The Deborah returned to Zeebrugge.

The capsized freighter remained afloat and was drifting in a southwest direction with a speed of about three knots. Four hatches of 15×20 ft length separated from the wreck. The freighter had 48 tons of light diesel fuel on board and a slight iridescence of gas oil was observed.

The Maritime Prefect of the Channel and the North Sea has requested anti-pollution equipment from Brest along with the assistance of an anti-pollution vessel (Argonaute – IMO 9269518).

1985-built, Malta-flagged, 1,521 gt Britannica Hav is owned by Hav Bulk AS of Raadal, Norway, and managed by Hac Shipmanagement Norrus AS of Kaliningrad, Russia. It is entered with Gard P&I Club (Bermuda) on behalf of Hav Bulk AS.