Marine accident round-up : 21st May 2020

One of the two high-speed motorboats that attacked chemical/oil products tanker Stolt Apal (IMO 9719240) in Aden Bay on May 17th exploded after being shot by the armed guards who were on board the tanker, according to local reports. It is not known what happened to the two or three pirates who were on board the boat when it exploded. The attack developed into a firefight between the pirates and the armed guards aboard the product tanker. After one pirate ship exploded, the other fled. There were no injuries on board the Stolt Apal. 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.

The Papua New Guinea National Maritime Safety has suspended for a year the master and four officers of landing craft Balimo Chief (IMO 9752503). The vessel ran aground at Sipaia village, east of Lae, 45 minutes after it left Voco Point. The five suspended officers were the master, chief engineer, chief officer and two other who were all on watch. The other two officers will serve a six-month suspension. 2014-built, Papua New Guinea-flagged, 498 gt Balimo Chief is owned and managed by Consort Express Lines Ltd of Lae, Papua New Guinea. It is entered with Shipowners Club on behalf of Steamships Ltd trading as Consort Express Lines.

Cruise ship Sovereign (IMO 8512281) which has been docked in the port of Malaga since March 20th, left for Gibraltar on May 17th. There were almost 300 crew members on board. During the stay in Malaga, maintenance and cleaning of the ship was carried out. Pullmantur will carry out the repatriation of its crew from Gibraltar, in an operation which the company said it was organizing. For crew members from Latin America, a charter flight is being organized from Gibraltar to Barbados and from there to their home countries. The Sovereign disembarked passengers in Cádiz.

1987-built, Malta-flagged, 73,529 gt Sovereign is owned by RCL Sovereign LLC care of manager Pullmantur Cruises Ship Management Ltd of Madrid, Spain. It is entered with Gard P&I on behalf of RCL Sovereign LLC. Claims leader for H&M is Norwegian Hull Club.

Passenger/Cargo RoRo Cacica Isabel (IMO 7705104) capsized in the port of Puerto Cabello, Venezuela, on December 5th 2019 and the ship has been resting on its starboard side, half-submerged, at the quay ever since. The ferry had been brought into the port for repairs but these were never carried out. The sinking was attributed to the neglect of the National Government. The ferries usually received maintenance in Dianca, but lately such operations have decreased. The ship was part of the fleet of the private company Conferry, which covered the Puerto La Cruz-Punta de Piedras route in Margarita. The government then took control of passenger transport between the eastern island and the mainland. After a few years of operation the ships began to show failures and were withdrawn, leaving only one ferry in the passenger service between Nueva Esparta and Anzoátegui. Some of them, like the ‘Cacica Isabel’, were sent to Puerto Cabello for repairs and maintenance.

1979-built, Venezuela-flagged, 2,640 gt Cacica Isabel is owned and managed by Conferry of Caracas, Venezuela.