Marine accident round-up : 22nd March 2019

Ocean Constructor (IMO 7814424) suffered a fire in her engine room on March 13th in the Gulf of Mexico while laying two pipelines at the Ku-Maloob-Zaap oil field in the Campeche Sound. There were 181 people on board, including construction personnel and 25 crew members. A Black Hawk helicopter was deployed to take workers off the vessel. All 130 non-essential personnel were transferred within four hours to different platforms of the Ku Maloob Zaap complex. Two of them suffered minor injuries but did not have to be hospitalized. Crew remained on board to fight the fire with the help of offshore vessels Cosmos, Bucaner and Don Miguel, as well as patrol boats Tenochtitlán and Chichen Itzá of the Navy, plus MLB 104 of Textron Marine. The fire was said to be controlled by shortly after midday. The pipeline-laying work, which had started on January 16th, was due to end on April 16th.

1980-built, Vanuatu-flagged, 9,640 gt Ocean Constructor is owned by Ocean Constructor Holding LLC care of manager Ocean Services LLC of Seattle, Washington, USA.

Livestock carrier Wardeh (IMO 7708285) had a detailed damage survey carried out by divers on March 17th. A removal plan will be prepared and will be forwarded to the Harbour Master for further approval. The vessel remained stationary at her grounding position. Wardeh had been anchored near Mersin port since April 10th 2018. On January 15th she dragged anchor and drifted aground about 500 metres off the coast in the Mersin region.. 1978-built, Lebanon-flagged, 8,393 gt is owned and managed by Khalifeh Shipping Line Co of Sadia, Lebanon.

The US Coast Guard has suspended its search for the master of towboat Seattle Slew, which capsized on the Mississippi near Pointe a la Hache, Louisiana. USCG crews searched approximately 158 square-nautical miles for approximately 18 hours but were unable to find the missing man. The Slew went down near Myrtle Grove Fleet, a fleeting facility about 50 miles downriver from New Orleans. Two crewmembers jumped over the side and were rescued by the US Coast Guard. The vessel’s captain, David Mills, remained missing. According to local media, the Seattle Slew was attempting to move an empty barge when she began to take on water and capsized. The wreck was located by Turn Services outside the ship channel at mile marker 57, and the Mississippi River has been re-opened to all traffic with restrictions requiring minimum safe speed and wide berth from mile markers 56 to 58.

Shortly after midnight on March 21st midnight general cargo ship BulkTrans (IMO 7102259) suffered water ingress and an engine failure off the Edøy ferry quay in Smøla. A pilot boat  hooked up a towing line and kept the ship from running aground. Lifeboat Erik Bye, a Sea King helicopter from Ørlandet and tug Waterman assisted with dewatering pumps. Patrol boat Nornen of the Norwegian Coastguard diverted to the position. The water ingress was brought under control within about a couple of hours and two hours after that the Waterman started towing the Bulk Trans, which had five people on board, in a northern direction to Kvernhusvika1971-built, Norway-flagged, 857 gt Bulktrans is owned and managed by Grøntvedt Shipping AS of Kraakvaag, Norway. It is entered with Gard P&I Club on behalf of Grøntvedt Shipping AS

The Société des Traversiers du Québec (STQ) has decided to remove passenger ship Apollo (IMO 7006314) from its fleet following an allision on March 16th that damaged the ship. STQ interim CEO Stéphane Lafau informed the minister of the decision on March 19th to end the use of the ferry permanently, not wishing to wait for internal reports and the TSB report because of the high risk of potential breakdowns on a vessel of such age, the extent of the work that would be required to repair the vessel and the associated costs. The ferry was damaged when it smashed into the dock at Godbout during the morning of February 25th. 1970-built,  Canada-flagged, 6,609 gt Apollo is owned and managed by Labrador Marine of Lewisporte, Newfoundland, Canada. It is entered with Shipowners’ Club on behalf of Société Des Traversiers Du Quebec.

Cargo ship SL Star (IMO 9432452) capsized on March 19th in the Shahid Rajaei Port in Bandar Abbas, Iran. She had begun to list to starboard during cargo operations during the morning, with the stability loss reportedly a result of a lack of communication and/or coordination between dockers and crew. Some of the 14 Indian crew members were injured by shifting cargo, with three of the injured being transferred to hospital. The ship finally turned upside down with her bottom above water. Containers were floating around the wreck and a gantry crane started to remove them. SL Star had sailed from the Hormozgan Steel Complex on March 6th. The ship had 153 containers on board, some of them already surfacing and floating around. Iranian maritime official Mehdi Haghshenas told state media that the casualty was caused by “poor coordination between the ship’s first officer and the crane operator.

2007-built, Comoros-flagged, 2,827 gt SL Star is owned by TTA Holding Corp care of manager Sea Link Shipping LLC care of manager Sea Link Shipping LLC of Dubai, UAE.