Marine accident round-up : 15th March 2018

Container ship Sofie Maersk (IMO 9146479) suffered an engine breakdown in the North Pacific on March 4th and remained adrift on March 12th. The fully loaded vessel is to be taken to the port of Honolulu, where a repair will be started. The containers are expected to remain on board during the repair. The ship was deployed on the eastern AC2 service, which connects Asia with the west coast of South America. The ship is expected to reach Qingdao no sooner than April 8th. It had sailed from Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico, on February 19th. 1998-built, Denmark-flagged, 92,198 gt Sofie Maersk is ownedd by Taida International Shipping care of Maersk Line A/S (Safmarine A/S) of Copenhagen, Denmark. It is entered with Standard Club (Europe division) on behalf of Taida International Ship Lease Co, Ltd.

Operations to refloat general cargo ship Betanzos (IMO 9263552) off Bugio, west of Lisbon, Portugal, at the mouth of the Tagus, were resumed on the morning of March 12th. Six members of Smit Salvage were preparing towing wires. Afterwards preparation work was to start to receive the tow ropes from the tugs by four Smit Slavage crew members who would be airlifted to the vessel. The weather had improved, but the sea was still rough. Betanzos seems to be surviving without structural damage. There was no danger of the 140 tons of fuel and about 29 tons of oily waste polluting the sea as they are distributed in several relatively small tanks, all of which were sealed by the crew before they left the ship. Lightering of the cargo of 8,000 tons sand was not under consideration. Salvage work was scheduled to be resumed on March 12th after the weather improved. Operations to remove the vessel from the sandbank off Bugio were suspended on March 7th as it was not possible to remove the freighter from the shoal. 2002-built, Spain-flagged, 4,941 gt Betanzos is owned and managed by Navigasa of Coruna, Spain. It is entered with Assuranceforeningen Gard – gjensidig – on behalf of Naviera de Galicia SA.

RoRo ferry Primula Seaways (IMO 9259513) left Gent, bound to Fayard in Odense for repairs, on March 9th, arriving at Fayard on March 11th. DFDS hoped that the ferry could be back in operation during the first half of April. Meanwhile, container ship MSC Madrid (IMO 9480198) had arrived at Antwerp Ship Repair. Primula Seaways collided with MSC Madrid off Flushing during the early morning of March 3rd. Both ships were underway in the same direction when MSC Madrid ran into the side of Primula Seaways, causing considerable damage to her port side. 2004-built, Denmark-flagged, 37,985 gt Primula Seaways is owned and managed by DFDS AS of Copenhagen, Denmark. It is entered with West of England Club (Claims Team 3) on behalf of DFDS AS.

2011-built, Liberia-flagged, 61,870 gt 5,500 teu MSC Madrid is owned by CPO Bilbao Offen Reederei care of manager Reederei Claus-Peter Offen GmbH & Co KG of Hamburg, Germany. It is entered with Standard Club (Europe Division) on behalf of CPO Bilbao Offen Reederei,

General cargo ship Tuna 1 (IMO 9148491) which had experienced engine failure at Tenes, Algeria on February 15th, was being towed to Tuzla shipyard on February 25th, where she arrived for repairs on March 11th. 1997-built, Cook Islands flagged, 4,276 gt Tuna 1 is owned and managed by Tuna Holding Inc of Istanbul, Turkey.

The Maldives defence minister, Adam Shareef, said on March 11th that the case of a high-seas ship-to-ship (STS) transfer between two vessels – one identified a North Korean vessel with the other hoisting a Maldives flag – had become an international investigation.  Shareef confirmed that, while the investigation was international, Maldives has been cooperating with the probe by delivering all relevant information. He then linked the ongoing state of emergency in Maldives with the STS transfer between both countries, hinting that there was an international conspiracy to overthrow the island nation’s government. The Chon Ma San, designated by the US as a sanction target, was spotted by a Japanese surveillance plane near Maldives-flagged tanker Xin Yuan 18 on March 10th, some 250 km east of Shanghai. The Maldives transport authority has denied any links to the vessel, insisting that the Xin Yuan 18 was not a vessel registered in the Maldives. It added that the authority did not allow any foreign vessel to register in the Maldives to sail outside the country in international waters.

Dredger Sirius Høj (IMO 7032375) was raised in the afternoon of March 11th. Only a slight oil spill was reported. The ship was carrying a heavy load of sand dug up from the port which shifted and caused the accident.  In the late evening the vessel was towed to Assens, where it arrived early the following morning for repairs.  1970-built, Denmark-flagged, 100 gt Sirius Hoj is owned and managed by Sirius Hoj of Horsens, Denmark.