Maersk Launceston captain given time to prepare defence

The Polish captain of container ship Maersk Launceston (IMO 9294408) has been given until November 11th to prepare his defence. He has been accused of causing an accident through negligence and violating international regulations for safety at sea. The captain has been granted temporary release and also an extension to prepare his defence, granted by a court in the port city of Piraeus on Oct 28.

The vesselcollided with Greek navy minehunter Kallisto off the Greek port of Piraeus early on Tuesday October 26th.

TV images showed the badly damaged navy vessel tilting on its side and taking on water. A tug boat pulled it, minus a sunken stern, to the coast. Two people were slightly injured. The Greek navy vessel’s 27-member crew had been transferred to safety.

The container ship was not damaged.

The Kallisto was severely damaged and became a total loss. The Piraeus Port Authority has requested that the court give it three months to conduct its investigation. It will compile a case file that will include details of the two ships’ movements immediately prior to the incident. The Maersk Launceston would be allowed to continue its voyage after it has been inspected and was deemed seaworthy. However, as of October 31st the vessel remained docked at the Piraeus Container Terminal SA.

Though Maersk Line does not operate Maersk Launceston, it said that it was aware of the casualty and has been in touch to offer its support to operator JT Essberger. 2005-built, Portugal-flagged, 50,736 gt Maersk Launceston is owned by Vierte Oceania care of Essberger JT GmbH of Hamburg, Germany. It is entered with UK Club on behalf of Navegar-Companhia Portuguesa de Navegacao Internacional S.A