Marine accident round-up : 7th June 2018

Oil products tanker Kapitan Ponikarovskiy (IMO 7636614) allided with berth 34 in St. Petersburg shortly before midnight on May 30th while leaving the port with cargo on board. The tanker sustained a hull breach in the bow section above the waterline, but no leak was reported. The vessel was taken to a mooring at the Lesnoy Mole Anchorage for inspection. 1979-built, Russia-flagged, 5,083 gt Kapitan Ponikarovskiy is owned and managed by Kontur –SPB of St Petersburg, Russia.

Indian multimillionaire Vijay Mallya, owner of impounded luxury yacht Indian Empress (IMO 1006245, previously the Al Mirqab) has been ordered by a Maltese to pay €234,129 in backdated salaries to 15 of its crewmembers, just a month after it was ordered to pay more than €600,000 to a fuel supplier and €92,000 to its senior staff. The vessel was impounded in Malta in March due to an ongoing wage dispute with its crew. Some of the senior crew, who have not left the vessel since it was abandoned by its owner, are owed up to $92,000 in unpaid wages, dating back to September 2017. Mallya bought the vessel from a Qatari sheikh in 2006 for a reported $113m in 2006 and refitted it only three years ago, has been using a berth at Manoel Island marina for years. The yacht has been impounded in a maritime lien, giving the crew claim over the vessel to the value of the unpaid wages. Mallya arrived in the UK on March 2nd having left India just hours before the State Bank of India started proceedings to seize his passport in a dispute over huge debts.

The Norwegian Coastguard seized fishing vessel Bianca – NC 312 (IMO 8716930) on May 29th under suspicion of illegal fishing. There were reportedly 20 tons of fish on board when the arrest occurred. The fishing was said to have been in the Alle Bank in the North Sea, an area closed to fishing. The trawler and the crew of five were guided to the port of Bergen where the prosecution authorities took over. The crew was asked to pay a deposit of NOK170,000 ($20,900), an option they declined. The case will therefore be forwarded to Bergen District Court. The vessel was allowed to leave on the evening of May 30th after the owner paid a bank guarantee. 1988-built, Germany-flagged, 455 gt Bianca is owned and managed by Bianca of Cuxhaven, Germany.

The US National Transportation Safety Board has said that leaking fuel that touched a hot surface caused the August 2016 fire that injured dozens aboard passenger/cargo RoRo Fantasy (IMO 8814263), which grounded near Puerto Rico. The fire caused some $20m in damage and spread quickly because fuel and lube oil valves were intentionally blocked open, the report stated. The NTSB also noted a less-than-excellent safety culture and a lack of inspection to ensure the safety management system was working. The board said more than 45 of the 511 passengers and crew were treated for minor injuries. Six other injuries were reported as serious. The ferry vessel was travelling from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico when the incident occurred. 1989-built, St Kitts & Nevis-flagged, 27,362 gt Fantasy is owned by Somap International Pte Ltd of Singapore, and managed by Prayati Shipping Pvt Ltd of Mumbai, India.

The 57-year old master of bulk carrier Evnia (IMO 9232163) was reported missing after he fell from the pilot ladder, while checking the draught, on the night of June 4th. The ship was berthed at jetty 7 in Chittagong Port after having arrived from China. After falling into the water he was caught by strong currents and carried away. Several boats were deployed for the search, but he had not been found by the following morning. 2003-built, Cyprus-flagged, 31,167 gt Evnia is owned and managed by Tranquil Navigation Co Ltd of Nicosia, Cyprus. ISM manager is Blue Planet Shipping Ltd of Athens, Greece. It is entered with West Of England Club (Greece – General) on behalf of Tranquil Navigation Co Ltd.