Collision vessels decoupled, but mid-sea salvage a delicate operation

Cargo ship Aviator (IMO 9363754) and chemical/oil products tanker Atlantic Grace were successfully separated on November 29th. The vessels had collided during the evening of November 26th in the Gulf of Kutch, western India (IMN, November 30th). The tanker’s bow struck the bulk carrier portside in the cargo holds area while the vessels were travelling in opposite directions. The ships remained coupled, presumably to mitigate potential serious water ingress into the bulk carrier.

There were no reports of an oil leak, but the damage was extensive. The Atlantic Grace was outbound on a return voyage to Fujairah with a crew of 21 Indian nationals aboard. The Aviator had earlier departed the port for the anchorage. It was unclear if the unloaded ship had reached the anchorage or was still manoeuvring at the time of the accident. It had a crew of 23 from the Philippines on board.

It was reported that the salvage would be a delicate operation conducted mid-sea. The hull breach had occurred above the waterline so there was no immediate danger of the bulker sinking. The Indian Coast Guard reported that both vessels would be detained while the investigation was ongoing.

2008-built, Hong Kong-flagged, 29,266 gt Atlantic Grace is owned by Heroic Hera Inc care of Diamond S Management LLC of Greenwich, Connecticut, USA. It is entered with UK Club on behalf of Heroic Hera Inc.

2007-built, Marshall Islands-flagged, 11,743 gt Aviator is owned by Liberator Maritime Co care of manager Evalend Shipping Co SA of Athens, Greece. It is entered with Steamship Mutual (European Syndicate) on behalf of Liberator Maritime Co.