Collision near Corsica causes oil sheen

Container ship CSL Virginia (IMO 9289568) was struck by passenger/cargo RoRo Ulysse (IMO 9142459) shortly after dawn on October 7th at a speed of 19 knots while in the Tyrrhenian Sea to the north of Corsica. CSL Virginia had sailed from Genoa on September 23rd and was anchored north of Cap Corse on the northern Corsica peninsula. Ulysse, operated by the Tunisian operator CTN, was en route from Genoa to Tunis.

The container ship, which was not carrying any cargo, suffered a breach several metres wide on the starboard side, while the ferry’s bow also suffered damage.

An oil sheen, reported to be 4km in size, was seen around the ships. It was said to be heading away from Corsica to the northwest. Emergency tug Abeille Flandre was deployed from Villefranche-sur-Mer, France.

Technical experts arrived on the ships the same afternoon aboard a French Navy NH 90 helicopter. BSAD Jason from Toulon and NOS Taurus from Livorno were deployed with anti-pollution equipment on board. Three Italian naval vessels were sent by the Italian Minister of the Environment.

The sea was calm and the visibility good.

The report quoted officials saying that they had not yet identified the liquid, but a source close to the inquiry said it was probably leaking “from one of the fuel tanks”, Reuters reported.

Clean-up work resumed yesterday.

2005-built, Cyprus-flagged, 54,592 gt CSL Virginia is owned by Duraven Shipping Co Ltd care of manager Cyprus Sea Lines Co of Athens, Greece. It is entered with Britannia P&I Club on behalf of Duraven Shipping Co Ltd.

1997-built, Tunisia-flagged, 17,907 gt Ulysse is owned and managed by Contunav of Tunis, Tunisia. It is entered with UK P&I Club (Group London L3) on behalf of Cie Tunisienne de Navigation SA (COTUNAV).