Marine accident round-up : 30th October 2023

Migrant rescue ship Ocean Viking (IMO 8506854), operated by NGO SOS Méditerranée, rescued 29 migrants aboard a fibre-glass boat on October 25th off the coast of Libya, but had to transport them to the Italian port of Ravenna, 1,613km or six sailing days away – part of Italy’s struggle to reduce the number of migrants arriving from North Africa. SOS Méditerranée said that the port of disembarkation was far from the ports usually used as landing sites. The NGO said that most of the migrants were from Syria and Sudan. Italy now requires rescue boats to proceed directly to a designated port. SOS Méditerranée says that this reduces the number of lives it can save. Italy says that it restricts the encouragement of more migrants on the North African coast to attempt crossings in boats not fit to sail.

1986-built, Norway-flagged, 2,306 gt Ocean Viking is owned by SAR Offshore AS care of manager Hoyland Offshore AS of Steinsland, Norway. It is entered with Skuld (Skuld Energy) on behalf of Hoyland Offshore AS

General cargo ship Pacific (IMO 9135834) hit difficulties on October 7th while en route from Malta to unspecified port. The vessel was off the Mediterranean Egyptian coast when its engine failed. On October 12th the ship drifted into Egyptian waters and anchored, alerting the Egyptian authorities and the owner of the situation. As of October 28th it remained anchored, apparently having hit a bureaucratic problem of who actually owns it and what flag it should be sailing under. It was either already sold or in the process of changing owner (and flag). Russian shipping company Leo Logistics from the Kaliningrad Region was apparently set to become the new owner, with the Pacific’s interrupted voyage meant to be the last under the old owner. After completing its voyage the ship was to sail to Kaliningrad, undergo formalities and be renamed the Svetlogorsk,  serving the cargo line connecting the Russian mainland and the Kaliningrad enclave. Egyptian authorities then declared the ship’s emergency anchorage to be illegal and imposed fines of $10,000 for violating the border, $10,000 for unauthorized anchorage and a puzzling $10,000 for not operating its AIS (puzzling because the AIS was up and running). Egypt has added on for good measure fees that add up to $400 a day. An Egyptian Border Guard team boarded the ship on October 13th. Reportedly the ship is still inoperable, but will be towed to Turkiye for repairs. Meanwhile the ship’s supplies are running out. Kaliningrad authorities said that an agreement had been achieved via the  Russian consulate in Egypt, allowing supplies replenishment. The Pacific . Svetlogorsk will be  part of the Sea Bridge project, to make the Region independent of land corridors that are now considered to be controlled by unfriendly states.

1998-built, Vanuatu-flagged, 3,893 gt Pacific is listed on Equasis as owned by Suraship Ltd care of manager Star Ship Denizcilik. As of October 27th the vessel was at anchor off Sidi Barrani, Egypt.

A small fire erupted on cruise ship Iona (IMO 9826548) on October 21st, reportedly in the central hub area where, vehicles for water activities were stored. The ship was berthed at Southampton at the time and the fire was quickly extinguished by the firefighting system. Passengers who were in atrium at the time were reported to have been evacuated from the area without having to leave the ship. The vessel left Southampton as scheduled. A few days later it was involved in an SAR operation in North Sea, after a collision that saw the Verity sink, with the loss of several lives.

2021-built, UK-flagged, 184,089 gt Iona is owned by Carnival Holdings Bermuda of Hamilton, Bermuda. It is managed by Carnival PLC of Southampton, UK. Standard Carnival P&I cover, with Steamship Mutual and UK Club. As of October 28th the vessel was moored at Southampton, England.

Russian refrigerated cargo ship Saronic Breeze (IMO 9081643) experienced an explosion during the night of October 26th when it was about 25nm east of southeast Hokkaido, en route from Busan Korea to the Bering Sea, to collect fish from fishing vessels. Welding works were apparently being undertaken in one of the compartments, and, according to a preliminary report, some acetylene cylinders exploded, causing a compartment’s steel door to tear off, strike a fitter and kill him instantly. The ship stopped and drifted for a short time, then sailed to nearby Yuzhno-Kurilsk port, Kunashir island, and anchored at Yuzhno-Kurilsk anchorage. it left anchorage on October 27th.

1996-built, Russia-flagged, 6,964 gt Saronic Breeze is owned and managed by Bereg Mechty JSC of Moscow, Russia. ISM manager is Dalreefer Shipping Co Ltd of Primorskiy kray, Russia. As of October 27th it was underway off the Japan coast, having left Busan on October 23rd.