Marine accident round-up : 19th May 2020

Chemical/oil products tanker Stolt Apal (IMO 9719240) was attacked by two skiffs with armed persons on board around noon UTC on May 17th in the Gulf of Aden, north-east of Bosaso, Puntland, Somalia, while sailing west, en route from Al Jubayul Persian Gulf, to Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, reported Reuters. “After multiple warning shots were fired by the armed guard team aboard Stolt Apal, the skiffs opened fire on the ship. The armed guard team returned fire, disabling one skiff and ending the pursuit”.

The spokesman said that the ship’s bridge had sustained minor damage from bullets but that there were no injuries. “A coalition warship (also) responded and Stolt Apal has resumed her voyage,” a Stolt spokesman said. 2016-built, UK-flagged, 23,124 gt Stolt Apal is owned by Hassel Shipping 4AS care of manager Stolt Tankers BV of Rotterdam, Netherlands. It is entered with Britannia Club on behalf of Hassel Shipping 4 AS.

An explosion followed by fire was reported to have occurred on board a Nigerian cargo ship which was apparently labelled as God’s Love (IMO 7231098?, but see below) at Lome port, Togo, on May 15th. One crew member died and several were injured. However, it’s unclear if the vessel was really God’s Love. There were reports that God’s Love had been broken up. Marine Traffic identifies the vessel with the above IMO number as Nigeria-flagged (according to Marine Traffic) or Greece-flagged (according to Equasis) 1973-built 56,135 gt container ship Korrigan (which was in Lome) and registered to Devonshire Corp of Monrovia, Liberia. That vessel was last reported as being called God’s Love in October 2019 (under a Madagascar flag). There is also an inland tanker called God’s Love (which was Germany-flagged) which was last heard of in Amsterdam in late 2018, having sailed there from Lagos. All a bit of a puzzle at the moment.

Cruise ship Diamond Princess(IMO 9228198) left the waters of Yokohama, Japan on May 16th destination Port Klang, Malaysia, ETA May 27th. All cruises with the ship have been cancelled until October 1st. It had been anchored off Yokohama since February 3rd and was for a short while the world’s second biggest outbreak of Covid-19. Among the 3711 people on board – 2,666 passengers and 1,045 crew, 712 became infected with Covid 19 and 13 died.2004-built, UK-flagged, 115,906 gt Diamond Princess is owned by Fairline Shipping International Corp care of manager Princess Cruise Lines of Valencia, California. It is entered with UK Club and Steamship Mutual.

Bulk carrier Mars Harmony (IMO 9832432) was refloated during the morning of May 16 with the assistance of a tug, and resumed her voyage after an inspection. Mars Harmony ran aground at the 387km mark on the Parana River downstream from Rosarion, Argentina, at around 10:00 UTC on May 15th, while proceeding downstream with a cargo of maize and soy beans.The Paraná river’s water levels are at their lowest in 50 years, and this was thought to be the cause of the grounding. 2019-built, Liberia-flagged, 22,683 gt Mars Harmony is owned by Koma Bulk Ltd care of manager ORIX Maritime Corp of Tokyo, Japan/ ISM manager is New Century Overseas Mgmt Inc of Manila, Philippines. It is entered with Britannia Club on behalf of Koma Bulk Ltd.

Meanwhile, on the same stretch of river, bulk carrier Antwerpia (IMO 9591753) ran aground at the 375km mark during the evening of May 16th while sailing downstream. As of 04:30 UTC on May 17th she was still aground. 2012-built, Marshall Islands-flagged, 44,113 gt Antwerpia is owned by New Destiny Shipping Corp care of manager Transocean Maritime Agencies of Monte Carlo, Monaco. It is entered with Britannia Club on behalf of New Destiny Shipping Corp.