Marine accident round-up : 14th March 2019

Potential evidence on the deck of offshore tug/supply ship Aline B (IMO 9440734) were reported seized by the Port Authority of Ancona after the ship berthed in port on March 9th. The ship was struck on March 5th by a crane falling from Italian oil company Eni’s platform Barbara F during the transshipment of a nitrogen cylinder from the platform to the vessel. That cylinder has also been seized by the investigating authorities. In the accident the crane operator died. Aline B was accompanied by a patrol boat to the port of Ancona. The Ancona Public Prosecutor has opened an investigation into the incident. Vessel Mamta has recovered the arm of the crane that was stuck under the keel of the Aline B and was scheduled to arrive in Ancona by March 13th. 2008-built, Italy-flagged, 1,342 gt Aline B is owned and managed by Bambini SpA of Ravenna, Italy. It is entered with Skuld (Business unit Oslo 1) on behalf of Bambini SpA.

Three ships, including emergency tug Abeille Liberté, assisted disabled fishing vessel Op Hoop van Zegen (IMO: 9019456) during the morning of March 11th after she began drifting dangerously close to rocks off Cherbourg, France. The tug was able to tow the trawler to safety. The trawler’s engine had broken down and she was drifting 3km off Cherbourg with five crew on board. The ship had been heading towards the port to carry out repairs following a fire and water ingress. The tug was on site within 15 minutes and succeeded in stopping a grounding at Ile Pelé. Two other ships joined the operation and helped tow the trawler to safety. She was berthed at the Quay ode Normandy at 10:00. 1991-built, Belgium-flagged, 273 gt Op Hoop van Zegen is owned and managed by Aris Rederij BVBA OF Knokke-Heist, Belgium.

Salvors from Resolve Marine have succeeded in emptying the fuel tank that leaked oil from the stricken Solomon Trader in Kangava Bay, Solomon Islands. There were still 600 tons of bunker oil in other tanks on board the bulkcarrier. The rest of the bunker oil is to be pumped into tanks placed on barges, the technique used to empty the leaking tank. However, it was reported to becoming increasingly difficult to transfer the load of bauxite without getting cranes on board the stricken vessel. Meanwhile the Australian Maritime Safety Authority has set up a four-tonne dynamic boom system, which was brought from Brisbane, to start cleaning up the oil that has already spilled into the sea. Other AMSA vessels also arrived on the scene on March 10. 1994-built, Hong Kong-flagged, 38,779 gt Solomon Trader is owned and managed by King Trader Ltd of Hong Kong. ISM manager is Smart-Trans Shipping Co Ltd of Jiangsu, China.

Danish arctic inspection ship Hvidbjørn sailed from Qaqortoq at Cape Farewell to a position approximately 40 miles east of the entrance to the Prins Christians sound on March 7th, where the Polar Aassik (IMO 8718914) had suffered engine trouble and was in a potentially critical situation, given the existence of a storm warning for the area. Hvidbjørn arrived early on March 8th, by which time the weather had deteriorated significantly. The inspection ship considered that it was not safe to transfer tow ropes to the casualty. Instead, it was decided to stay close to the trawler and escort it. It was two days later on March 10th before wave heights dropped to 4-5 metres, permitting Hvidbjørn to establish a towing connection to the trawler. She then started pulling Polar Aassik towards Qaqortoq at a speed of 3-4 knots, but during the morning of March 11th the towing wire broke. While the crew worked on establishing a new connection it was planned that the tug Masik Viking would take over the tow from the inspection vessel. 1989-built, Denmark-flagged, 499 gt Polar Aassik is owned and managed by Polar Seafood Trawl AS of Nuuk, Greenland. According to Equasis it is entered with Shipowners’ Club.

Passenger ship Volcán de Tamasite (IMO 9281322) allided with a ramp at La Esfinge dock in the Puerto de La Luz in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria during the evening of March 9th as a result of adverse weather conditions. There were no injuries or leaks, but the ferry suffered hull damage. Many of the passengers were already in the car decks inside their cars and ready to leave the ship when the incident occurred. Vehicles collided with each other because of the impact and suffered minor damage. The ferry was able to leave under her own power and headed towards the bay off the port, where she remained until the arrival of a tug of the Boluda VB Alborán Group for another berthing attempt. Only one passenger reported any injury, which did not require treatment on scene. The ferry remained in port on March 11th