Marine accident round-up : 24th October 2017

Refrigerated cargo ship Baltic Performer (IMO 9016674) suffered problems during Storm Brian on October 21st while south-west of the tip of Brittany. Part of a cargo of 6,120 tons of vegetables, which were arranged on pallets, shifted, causing a portside list of 15 degrees. It requested assistance and an emergency tug was deployed as an escort, reaching the reefer from Camaret at 02:00 on October 22nd. The convoy then headed for shelter in Brest. The reefer was en route from Flushing to Dakar with a crew of 25. 1992-built, Liberia-flagged, 10,381 gt Baltic Performer (formerly Hawk Bay) is owned by Roycan Overseas Corp of St Petersburg, Russia, and managed by Baltic Reefers Ltd of the same city. ISM manager is Ost-West-Handel Und Schiffahrt. It is entered with Ingosstrakh on behalf of Ost-West-Handel.

Bulk carrier Friederike (IMO 9436769) requested assistance while en route from Lagos to Buenos Aires, stating that there was a mutiny on board from four Nigerian stowaways. The bulk carrier was advised to proceed to the AUDAZ Barreminas anchorage, some 40m southeast of Montevideo, Uruguay. A Uruguayan frigate took along a negotiator and the Reconnaissance Section of the Naval Fusiliers Corps, who boarded the vessel on October 21st and neutralized the stowaways, who were then disembarked at Montevideo. 2011-built, Marshall Islands flagged, 33.302 gt Friederike is owned by SPV 7 LLC care of manager Technomcar Shipping of Athens, Greece. It is entered with UK P&I Club (area group Piraeus H1) on behalf of SPV7 LLC.

The master of containership MSC Giannina (IMO 9141780) was reported missing on October 19th in the Tyrrhenian sea, while the vessel was en route from Gioia Tauro to Genoa. Ukrainian Yuri Kharytonov (54), was last seen on board at the beginning of the night. An alert was raised after a thorough search of the whole ship by the crew of 22 failed to find him. The vessel turned around to retrace a stretch of sea between Corsica and Elba. A joint SAR operation was launched from Corsica and the Italian mainland, but the Maritime Prefect of the Mediterranean called off the search the following evening. The ship continued its voyage under the command of the Chief Officer, arriving at the Voltri Port in Genoa where local police boarded the vessel to interrogate the crew. 1997-built, Portugal-flagged, 21,531 gt MSC Giannina is owned by Fiannina Maritime Inc care of manager MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co of Geneva, Switzerland. ISM manager is MSC Ship Management Ltd of Limassol, Cyprus. It is entered with West of England Club (Claims Team 3) on behalf of Giannina Maritime Ltd.

Multi-purpose carrier ESL Africa (IMO 9397171) ran aground southwest of Oxelösund, Sweden in good weather during the evening of October 21st, two hours after departing from Norkköping to Dakar. The cause was apparently an engine problem. The Swedish Coast Guard and the Maritime and Aviation Rescue Centre were informed of the grounding. KBV 452 attended from Oxelösund, followed by the environmental protection vessel KBV 031 from Nynäshamn at midnight. Surveillance vessel KBV 311 arrived during the night with divers on board to investigate the hull. No oil spill was observed. During the morning of October 22nd the vessel was refloated and headed for Oxelösund under its own power, accompanied by KBV 031 and KBV 503. A routine drug test of the crew was negative. 2007-built, Cyprus-flagged, 11,864 gt ESL Africa is owned by Kadelariko Shipping Co Ltd care of manager Euroafrica Shipping Lines Cyprus Ltd of Limassol, Cyprus. ISM manager is Euroafrica Services Ltd of Szczecin, Poland. It is entered with West of England Club (Claims Team 1) on behalf of Kadelariko Shipping Co Ltd.

The US Coast Guard, the Texas General Land Office and Bouchard Transportation representatives continued to respond to the fire on barge B 255 that exploded and caught fire on October 20th three miles off the jetties of Port Aransas, Texas, while being pushed by the Buster Bouchard (IMO 7814591), killing at least one crew member. The fire is now out, with response efforts focusing on mitigating any impact on the environment and maritime community. Multiple oil containment and recovery assets are at the scene, including 6,000ft of additional oil containment booms to the 2,000ft already in place. The barge was carrying 133,000 barrels of crude oil when the fire started, but the discharge to date has made minimal shoreline impact. The USCG reopened the affected ship channels on October 22nd. The USCG said that “discharge from the barge cargo tanks appears to have stopped following the removal of 2,500 barrels of oil-water mix from the barge through lightering operations. Lightering is currently suspended due to weather, but will resume with improvement in sea conditions”. A 1,000-yard safety zone remained in effect around the barge. 1979-built, USA-flagged, 592 gt Buster Bouchard  is owned by Tug Buster Bouchard care of manager Bouchard Transportation Inc of Melville, New York State, US.

Bibby Line Limited, owner of bulk carrier Cheshire (IMO 9593646) which has been moored at the port of Motril (Grenada) since September 13th has said that the unloading of damaged cargo has commenced and that the work would take about 15 days. The past few weeks have seen the freighter being prepared for the operation. Salvage company Resolve Marine is assisting in the unloading work. Stevedores will only work by daylight. There will be a daily analysis of the NPK fertilizer cargo once it has been taken off the ship. The fertilizer has apparently completely decomposed. Cheshire caught fire on August 12th about 60m from the Canaries while carrying 42,654 tonnes of ammonium nitrate. It burned for several days while negotiations took place as to where the vessel could be towed for unloading. 2012-built, Isle of Man-flagged, 33,042 gt Cheshire is owned by Bibby Transport Ltd care of Bibby Line Ltd of Liverpool, UK. ISM manager is V Ships Asia Group PtE of Singapore.