Marine accident round-up : 4th December 2017

New York passenger ferry Zelinsky became stuck on a sandbar during the early evening of November 27th after striking a submerged object 100 ft off Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan, soon after she left the Pier. There were 114 rush-hour passengers and a crew of seven on board. The accident happened near the South Street Seaport in lower Manhattan, en route to the Rockaways Area of Queens. The ferry’s propellers were damaged and the hull was breached in two places, causing the ferry slowly to take on water. The crew tried to move the ship, but after 45 minutes had to call for assistance. Marine units from the NYPD, FDNY and Coastguard responded. The passengers were transferred to another boat within an hour. The water ingress was controlled and then Zelinsky was refloated with the help of a tug.

Former passenger/cargo RoRo Jupiter (IMO 7360186) capsized and sank four miles SE of Quy Nhon (Bình Định) port in Vietnam on November 4th/5th. On November 14th rescue divers, finding and identifying two of the crew members. The search for bodies proved difficult because of inclement weather. The former ferry had been anchored in the waters off the Van Phong Bay since 2010 and accommodated tourists. She was under tow to Haiphong for repairs when she stopped to shelter from a storm, at which point she broke from her moorings and turned over. 1975-built, unknown-flagged, 20,851 gt Jupiter is owned by Royale Group Ltd care of manager Prime Cruise Development Ltd of Ha Long City, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam.

Ferries Nusa Agun (IMO 7027423) and Titian Murni (IMO 6725523) collided off Bakauheni, Lampung, Sunda Strait, Indonesia at midday on November 27th. Nusa Agung was breached and suffered water ingress after Nusa Agun struck her starboard side. The latter suffered bow damage. There was fog in the area at the time of the collision. 1970-built, Indonesia-flagged, 5,730 gt Nusa Agung is owned and managed by Putera Master Sarana Lines of Jakarta, Indonesia. 1967-built, Indonesia-flagged, 3,614 gt Tititan Murni is owned and managed by Jembatan Nusantara PT of Surabaya, Indonesia.

Bulk carrier Shun Jin Long, which was loaded with 5,038 tons of steel, collided with bulk carrier Jin Ze Lun, carrying 5,000 tons of sand, early on November 27th in the Pearl River estuary, Guangdong Province. Jin Ze Lun sank, with two of the crew rescued and 12 missing. Five crew members were rescued after an SAR but seven crew members were apparently trapped inside a cabin. Two bodies were recovered, with three remaining missing, on November 30th. Navigation in the area remained blocked. Shun Jin Long also suffered serious damage with a significant ingress of water sinking, although all her 11 crew members were safe.

A plan for tug Gulf Cajun to tow loaded fuel barge Zidell Marine 277 to safety by after it broke off its tug was defeated by poor weather on the afternoon of November 27th near Bella Bella, British Columbia, Canada, but by the evening crews managed to anchor both. Earlier that day the barge was being pushed through the Queen Charlotte Sound by tug Jake Shearer when rough seas separated the pair, damaging the connecting mechanism. Gulf Cajun was brought in to tow the barge the rest of the way but deteriorating weather conditions. By November 28th the tug and barge were safely anchored in Norman Morison Bay, about three miles north of Bella Bella. Booms had been placed around the vessels as a precaution and both were to be inspected. No sheen or product was observed in the water around the barge, the tug or at the barge’s previous location. The incident has a high profile because a year ago a tug ran aground, spilling about 110,000 litres of diesel and other contaminants into the water nearby.