An investigation into the collision between cargo ships Florence Spirit (IMO 9314600) and Alanis (IMO 9468085) on the Welland Canal on July 11th could take to 15 months to complete, says the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has said. The Florence Spirit, which was headed down the canal toward Lake Ontario, and the Alanis, which was headed toward Lake Erie, collided starboard to starboard, and nearly head-to-head, around the anchor ports on both ships during the afternoon of July 11th. There were 16 crew on the Alanis and 14 on the Florence Spirt, but none were injured in the collision, which took place south of the East Main Street tunnel, east of Welland’s Memorial Park.
Three investigators from the TSB’s Quebec City-based office interviewed crew members on both vessels and downloaded data from the black boxes on each ship. The collision left the Florence Spirit damaged on the starboard side, while the Alanis suffered damage to her bow, including a visible hole on the starboard side near the anchor port.
The Florence Spirit was carrying a load of coal while the Alanis was carrying wind turbine parts.
On July 28th the Alanis was headed down the canal towards Port Weller. The Florence Spirit, docked at Wharf 10 in Welland after the collision, was entering the harbour at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, which has a ship repair/building facility.
2004-built, Canada-flagged, 8.935 gt Florence Spirit is owned by McKeil Work Boats GP Inc and managed by McKeil Marine Ltd, both of Burlington, Ontario, Canada. It is entered with Shipowners’ Club on behalf of McKeil Work Boats GP Inc.
2010-built, Antigua & Barbuda-flagged, 9,611 gt Alanis is owned by Alina Schifffahrtsgesellschaft care of manager Rainbow Reederei of Drochtersen, Germany. It is entered with Skuld (Skuld Hamburg unit) on behalf of Rambow Bereederungs GmbH & Co.
Two tugs and more than 16 crew were expected in Mauritius on July 29th for the refloating of cargo ship Wakashio (IMO 9337119) from the reefs of Pointe d’Esny in Blue Bay. A tug was on its way to Mauritius from South Africa. A second tug with oil spill response equipment and a crew of 10 left Singapore overnight on July 27th, bound for Réunion Island, where six additional salvors would board before heading for the wreckage site. An additional tug would be on standby. The vessel had on board 3,894 tonnes of low sulphur fuel oil, 207 tonnes of diesel and 90 metric tonnes of heavy oil. The National Laboratory of the Environment took samples of sea water on July 26th and July 27th to check for the presence of oil, grease and hydrocarbons. The test results confirmed that there was none in the samples taken. The National Environment Laboratory will carry out daily sampling and analysis. Measures have been taken for the installation of 190 meters of oil booms at the sea-side entrance to the Blue Bay Marine Park. On July 27th traces of hydrocarbons were reported over a distance of approximately 300 meters. The shoreline clean-up was carried out by the SMF on July 27th. A Lloyd’s Standard Form of Salvage Agreement was signed with Smith Salvage Co. and its local counterpart Celero on July 27th. The engine room was flooded due to a ruptured water pipe.
2007-built, Panama-flagged, 101,932 gt Wakashio is owned by Okiyo Maritime Corp care of manager Nagashiki Shipping Co Ltd of Kasaoka-shi, Okayama-ken, Japan. It is entered with Japan Club (Kobe Office in charge) on behalf of Okiyo Maritime Corp.
Tug Alaa (IMO 8202769) was rescued by Spanish frigate Santa Maria on July 22nd after she had been adrift in Somali waters since July 12th. The EU Operation Atalanta commander had tasked the frigate to assist the tug. Food and water was delivered to the tug’s sole occupant by helicopter. The Santa Maria then proceeded to the scene and some crew members boarded the tug to prepare it for towing to Bosaso, Somalia. The towing operation was carried out in strong tidal conditions and winds between 25 and 30 knots. Despite the bad weather conditions, the convoy arrived safely at the port of Bosaso. 1983-built, 260 gt Alaa is owned and managed by Divers Marine Contracting LLC of Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Cargo ship Absheron (IMO 8721428) suffered a technical failure at Tekirdag, Balkan peninsula, Turkey on July 25th. Permission to depart was withheld by the harbour master repairs were completed. The vessel was shifted from the inner port to an anchorage where repairs were started by the crew. However, because they failed to carry out permanent repairs, the vessel was shifted from Tekirdag to the Tuzla shipyard anchorage area. 1986-built, Togo-flagged, 2,998 gt Absheron is owned and managed by Hazri Shipping & Trade Ltd of Istanbul, Turkey. It is entered with West of England Club (Eastern Claims Team) on behalf of Hazri Shipping And Trade Ltd.