Marine accident round-up : 21st September 2022

Tankship Larko (IMO 9225330) broke from its moorings at the Guaraguao Oil Terminal, Puerto, during the morning of September 17th while loading gasoline. Shortly after the mooring lines broke a cargo hose also broke, and soon after that a fire broke out. The tanker was taken to the port’s outer anchorage by tugs, where it was moored and the fire brought under control within 40 minutes, with no injuries being reported.

2001-built, Panama-flagged, 23,680 gt Larko is owned by Dorado Marine SA care of manager Asia Charm Ltd FZE of Fujairah, UAE. It is entered with West of England (claims team Greece) on behalf of Dorado Marine SA. As of September 19th the vessel was at anchor off Puerto de la Cruz, Venezuela.

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The Liberia Maritime Authority (LiMA) has said that it was “exerting all efforts” in seeking to arrest the captain and crew members of cargo ship Ophelia (IMO 9228083) after stowaways alleged that two of their number had been killed by crew members with the remainder being thrown overboard. The incident involved about 14 stowaways claiming to be Nigerians who were either found hidden on the ship or who made themselves known after three days without food. Current reports state that they had boarded the vessel illegally on September 7th while it was berthed at Warri. Their presence on the ship apparently became known on September 10th while the vessel was underway off Liberia. Two of the stowaways were said to have died following their discovery. The remaining 12 individuals were later picked up out of the water by the crews of some Liberian fishing boats. The LiMA has initiated a full investigation of the incident to ensure everyone involved is made to account. Other agencies of the Government of Liberia, including the Liberia Immigration Service, are also currently conducting a full-scale investigation. It should once again be emphasized that at the moment there only seems to be one side of this story – that of the stowaways, and it seems that several details have changed with the telling. Some have said that the stowaways were discovered, others that they made themselves known to the crew. Some accounts claim that the 12 rescued stowaways had jumped overboard after the deaths of two of them, while others claim that either 12 or 14 were thrown overboard. Presumably the version according to the captain and the crew (who are reported to be Chinese nationals) will eventually become known.

2002-built, Panama-flagged, 28,718 gt Ophelia is owned by Serendipper Shipping Ltd care of manager Sea Ray Shipping Co Ltd of Shandong, China. It is entered with Swedish Club on behalf of Serendipper Shipping Ltd. No AIS since September 8th when the vessel was in the Gulf of Guinea, heading from Lagos to Orino, Japan, ETA September 23rd.

A fire on a passenger deck aboard an Indonesian ferry broke out last Friday morning September 16th, leaving one dead and three more injured, according to local media. Ferry Nusuntara 91 arrived at the island of Masalembuearly, a remote outpost in the Java Sea, early on Friday. Before the ship could depart, smoke began to billow from Deck 1, a passenger berthing deck. The ship was evacuated and three people were taken to a hospital for treatment. One individual did not survive. Authorities said that they suspected that the fire was caused by a smouldering cigarette butt in a passenger compartment. A post-accident survey of the deck found that a mattress in a berthing area appeared to be the seat of the fire and was the only item that had burned.

Harbourmaster Rahmat Rahim told local media that the three injured survivors had suffered from smoke inhalation but had recovered and were in good health. The deceased was identified as Nobi Albert Lombogia, a passenger from Surabaya.

Bulk carrier Blueways (IMO 9153111) drifted aground at Chengshan, Weihai, Yellow Sea, China, during the morning of September 19th. The ship had earlier left Longyan port, Weihai and had anchored, but strong winds and high waves caused by a typhoon caused the anchor to drag and the ship to drift aground. It issued a distress signal and asked for evacuation. All 25 crew were safely airlifted by helicopter by noon. As of September 20th the vessel was listed as Stopped at Longyan, China.

1998-built, Panama-flagged, 27,011 gt Blueways is owned by Blue Oceanways Co Ltd care of Sea Plain Shipping Co Ltd of Dalian, Liaoning, China.