Two tankers collide in Suez Canal

Two tankers collided in the Suez Canal early on Wednesday August 23rd local time, but were soon separated, and traffic was reported as flowing normally.

Singapore-flagged LNG carrier BW Lesmes (IMO 9873840) and Cayman Islands-flagged oil products tanker Burri (IMO 9787948), collided briefly near mark 142, while both were transiting the Canal in a southbound convoy. After the collision both vessels were either berthed or positioned along the Canal embankment near collision site.

About six hours after the incident the BW Lesmes resumed moving, facing north but being towed south, and by mid-morning on August 23rd was manoeuvring at Suez anchorage, Red sea, with at least two tugs assisting.

By the afternoon of August 23rd both vessels had been transferred to Suez South Anchorage.

The Burri had initially remained in the same position, moored, pointing south about 7.5m from the south end of the Canal, with at least four tugs at its side. Both tankers were reported as damaged, possibly severely.

A time lapse of the tracking map shared by MarineTraffic showed the Burri turning sideways and colliding with an already sideways BW Lesmes at 2040 GMT (00:40 local time) before backing up and pointing straight.

The Suez Canal Authority was yet to supply an official statement. According to MarineTraffic, the accident happened between the Burri product tanker and BW Lesmes. The Suez Canal Authority said on social media that one of the ships had broken down without identifying which one.

The time-lapse of the accident suggests it was the Burri that suffered a mechanical failure. The Burri seems to turn to port and collide with the BW Lesmes, which was already lying across the waterway.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said that it was informed of the incident at about 05:30am Singapore time (01:30 Suez time) on Wednesday. The BW Lesmes was grounded but had since been refloated with assistance from local authorities, a spokesperson said.

No injuries to the crew or pollution were reported.

2021-built, Singapore-flagged, 115,338 gt BW Lesmes is owned by Siro Holding Singapore 2 Pte care of BW Gas AS of Lysaker, Norway. ISM manager is BW Fleet Management AS of Oslo, Norway. It is entered with UK Club on behalf of Siro Holding Singapore 2 Pte Ltd. As of August 23rd (afternoon) it was at Suez South Anchorage.

2019-built, Cayman Islands-flagged, 64,555 gt Burri is owned by Matilda Owners Inc care of manager TMS Tankers Ltd of Athens, Greece. It is entered with Gard P&I on behalf of Matilda owners Inc. Gard AS is claims leader for Hull on behalf of TMS Tankers Ltd. As of the afternoon of August 23rd it too was at Suez South Anchorage.