Marine accident round-up : 4th May 2020

Six pirates have been arrested for attempting to board an LPG tanker identified as Epic Bermuda (IMO 9238131) while off Takoradi port in Ghana. The incident took place about 2.5nm east of Takoradi on April 30th, according to a report from maritime security firm Dryad Global. “Reports suggest that during the initial boarding attempt the Officer on Watch (OOW) noticed the perpetrators and sounded the alarm. The OOW then started the vessel’s engines and attempted to manoeuvre the vessel so as to disrupt the attempt. The small boat was said to have then headed off in the direction of another vessel approximately 0.6nm away,” Dryad said. The authorities at Takoradi dispatched a patrol vessel which arrested the six individuals. The crew members were reported to be safe. This is the 4th incident in the waters off Takoradi within 2020 and the third within 3nm of Takoradi Port.

2001-built, Malta-flagged, 5,764 gt Epic Bermuda is owned by Macedonian Enterprises Inc care of Epic Shipping Pte Ltd of Singapore. It is entered with Skuld (Business Unit Skuld Singapore) on behalf of EpicGas Ltd.

Further details on the Maersk Vilnius (IMO 9408956) incident reported in IMN last week (April 30th). The Maersk Vilnius reportedly suffered a fire in the engine room during the morning of 26th April when it was 220nm from the French Overseas territory of Guadeloupe. The vessel was drifting in a westerly direction at a speed of 1.4 knots, and the engine might no longer be operable, considering the reported damage. Claims group WE Cox said that the shipowner had despatched tug ALP Defender from Trinidad and Tobago, which was expected to arrive in the area on Friday May 1st. The plan is to tow her to a port for repairs. 2010-built, Singapore-flagged, 20,927 gt Maersk Vilnius is owned by Moller Singapore AP Pte Ltd of Singapore. It is managed by Maersk AS of Copenhagen, Denmark. It is entered with Britannia on behalf of Maersk AS.

Cargo ship Skadi (IMO 9145645) aka Unicrown was reported to have been found guilty by the local Turkish municipality environmental pollution prevention department of discharging dirty and oily ballast water at Izmit on April 26th in breach of MARPOL rules in force as local regulations. The vessel was fined US$164,250. The vessel’s departure permission was halted by the harbour master until payment of the fine plus environmental clean-up expenses, local reports claimed. The local authorities have launched an investigation. 1998-built, Antigua & Barbuda-flagged, 12,192 gt Unicrown is owned by Skadi Shipping Ltd-ABB care of manager Astramar Transport Ltd of Riga, Latvia. ISM manager is Aquarius Shipmanagement Co of Riga, Latvia.

Fishing boat Dar al Salam 1 (IMO 7027459) which controversially returned migrants to Libya earlier this month, was reported on April 28th to be on her way to a migrant dinghy drifting in Maltese waters, shortly after leaving Valetta’s Grand Harbour. It also sails under the name Mae Yemenja. The boat appeared to be heading for 62 migrants who were stranded in Maltese waters. 1970-built, Libya-flagged (Marine Traffic info), 189 gt Dar al Salam 1 (listed on Marine Traffic site as Mae Yemanja) is owned and managed by Gulf Fisheries Ltd of Birzebugga, Malta.

The Société Apollo in Godbout, which acquired Passenger/Cargo RoRo Apollo (IMO 7006314) with a plan to scuttling it to make an artificial reef for scuba diving, has seen its project postponed for at least a year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Société Apollo bought the vessel from Société des traversiers du Québec (STQ). Asbestos panels, copper wires for electricity and hydraulic lines need to be removed before scuttling can take place. Thus far only two of the ship’s nine decks had been cleared of asbestos. Oils, coolants, propeller and propeller shafts must also be removed. The diesel had already been removed by STQ from the main tanks of the two engines. Transmission oils were in the process of being removed. The corporation must also receive an authorization from Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The wreck will be identified precisely in a nautical chart and with buoys. The artificial reef nay not be a risk for the merchant navy. At low tide, there must be at least thirty feet draught available at all times. The owners made C$50,000 from the sale of various items, including 250 chairs that were purchased by the City of Baie-Comeau for its sports, community and cultural facilities. A maritime company has made an offer for life jackets. The corporation was unable to sell the 13 lifeboats due to their age. However, the organization was considering developing a collaboration with the Pointe-aux-Outardes Nature Park to make it an unusual accommodation. They could keep some to serve as tents for divers. The Apollo is currently moored at the Groupe Océan wharf in the Louise Basin in Quebec. 1970-built, Canada-flagged, 6,609 gt Apollo is owned and managed by Quebec Traversiers of Quebec, Canada.