Marine accident round-up: 10th October 2019

Cargo ship RT Hon Paul J. Martin (IMO 7324405) ran aground with a cargo of iron ore during the night of October 6th on the St Lawrence River off Shoemaker Island, a few miles above Iroquois Lock in Ontario. The bulk carrier was en route from Port Weller to Quebec. On October 7th it remained aground. The US Coast Guard responded to the incident and was working on a salvage plan with the St Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. The ship was taking on water at a slow rate, but no fuel or cargo tanks had been breached. The vessel had suffered engine problems before grounding. Traffic was being restricted to a single direction, during daylight hours only. 1973-built, Canada-flagged, 23,989 gt Rt Hon Paul J Martin is owned and ISM-managed by CSL Group Inc of Montreal, Canada. Commercial manager is CSL Americas of Middleton, MA, USA. It is entered with Standard Club (International Division) on behalf of The CSL Group Inc.

Thirteen people were rescued, but 12 were still missing after one gravel ship sank and a second overturned in the middle of the Taiwan Strait on October 6th. The Jia Liang and Donghong were flat-bottomed river-class vessels, so should not really have been on the open sea. The ships were believed to have encountered rough seas with winds of 8-9 Beaufort. Taiwan’s National Rescue Command Centre received a distress call from the vessels in the early morning. A Coast Guard vessel was dispatched from Penghu, Taiwan to assist in the search and rescue operation. Other vessels and a helicopter were dispatched from China, while a fixed wing aircraft from Hong Kong also assisted. Coast Guard officers tapped on the hull of the overturned Donghong but received no response.

The 80m x 18.4m offshore supply ship VOS Primrose (IMO 9697519) which suffered fire damage at the ST Engg yard on May 3rd while being modified for a contract in the Middle East and which was then declared a CTL, has been sold to Chittagong Breakers as a dead vessel after being renamed Sierra. She was towed to the scrapyard by tug Masindra 15 on September 30th and arrived at Chittagong anchorage on October 1st. It was beached for breaking up on October 3rd. 2016-built, ex-Gibraltar-flagged, now Niue-flagged, 3,548 gt Sierra is owned by Check In Enterprises Pvt Ltd of Mumbai, India (since August 9th 2019). Previously it was owned by PSV Express VII BV, care of manager Vroon Offshore Services Ltd of Aberdeen, UK. Until scrapping, it had been entered with North of England Club on behalf of PSC Express BV.

A mobile crane toppled over on cargo ship Astra Marine (IMO 7305112) in Bartin late on October 6th. A crane operator was injured in the incident and taken to hospital. The ship was loading cement clinker at that time. Work has started to lift the crane. 1972-built, 2,466 gt Astra Marine is owned by Astra Marine Shipping SA care of manager Private Enterprise Sea Star-Kherson of Kherson, Ukraine. ISM manager is Real Management Services Ltd of Kherson, Ukraine. It is entered with Hanseatic.

Fishing vessel Ookuni (IMO 9844198) of the Japanese Fisheries Agency was in collision with a large North Korean fishing boat in the Sea of Japan during the morning of October 7th about 350km northwest of the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture. The North Korean vessel sank within half an hour. The roughly 60 crew members went into life rafts and were rescued by the Fisheries Agency ship. The Japan Coast Guard sent a patrol boat and other vessels to the site to investigate. The collision occurred inside Japan’s EEZ. Japan’s Coast Guard and Fisheries Agency had been sending patrol ships to the waters to deter illegal fishing. All the crew members that abandoned the fishing boat were rescued and handed over to another North Korean ship, the Coast Guard said. It did not give details about how the two vessels collided, but Taku Eto, minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, said a sharp turn by the North Korean ship caused the accident. There were no injuries on the Japanese ship,” Eto said. “Normally, we police illegal fishing with such steps as using water cannon or showing messages on electronic displays,” Satoshi Kuwahara, head of the Fisheries Agency’s enforcement division, said, adding that “this time, the contact happened while we were warning the ship to sail away.”

2019-built, Japan-flagged, 1,282 gt Ookuni is owned and managed by Banyo Jitsugyo KK of Tokyo, Japan.