Two bulkers collide in dense fog near entrance to Cannakale Strait

Capesize bulk carrier Benitamou (IMO 9439046) and general cargo ship BC Vanessa (IMO 9426855) were reported to have collided in Marmara sea halfway between Sarkoy, Tekirdag, and Gelibolu, Cannakale, early on October 24th. Both ships were proceeding to Dardanelles in full load and in dense fog. BC Vanessa was thought to have struck the Benitamou portside in the midship-section area, inflicting significant damage to both ships. The Benitamou hull suffered a major breach, with ensuing water ingress. The BC Vanessa bow and forecastle were heavily damaged. The BC Vanessa moved to Sevketiye anchorage and was anchored, understood to be in no immediate danger. However, the situation with the Benitamou was less optimistic. It was possibly dead in the water or anchored south of the collision site, with at least two tugs and salvage vessel around. Benitamou had been carrying a cargo of iron ore from Yuzhny, Ukraine to China. The BC Vanessa was en route from Varna, Bulgaria to Tunis.

As of October 25th the Benitamou was at anchor in Marmara Sea. Last reported position of BC Vanessa was October 23rd, but, rather oddly, Marine Traffic’s data shows BC Vanessa’s last received AIS position as being located on dry land in a suburb of Ankara, 150 nm inland from the Sea of Marmara.

The BC Vanessa’s AIS signal was not picked up by a satellite receiver in the hours before or after the collision, according to tracking provided by Pole Star. Its last recorded AIS signal was received shortly before midnight Saturday, according to both Pole Star and Marine Traffic.

2008-built, Panama-flagged, 104,729 gt Benitamou is owned by G.O.D Shipping SA care of manager Doun Kisen KK of Imabari, Ehime, Japan. It is entered with Japan Club (Imabari office in charge) on behalf of G.O.D Shipping SA.

2010-built, Barbados-flagged, 19,805 gt BC Vanessa is owned by OCM Maritime Congo LLC care of FGM Chartering Ltd of Piraeus, Greece. ISM manager is Stallion Marine Services Ltd of Piraeus, Greece. It is entered with London Club on behalf of BC Vanessa Shipping Ltd.