Vehicle carrier runs aground in northern Sweden

Vehicle carrier Makassar Highway (IMO 9235426) ran aground during the morning of July 23rd in the Tjusts archipelago, Västervik municipality, northern Sweden while en route from Cuxhaven to Södertälje with 1,325 cars on board.

The vessel’s chief mate has been arrested under suspicion of drinking at the helm. The ship reportedly maintained a steady speed of 14 knots and did not change its wrong course for hours, going straight aground at a depth of three to four metres with the bulbous bow protruding from the water.

A significant amount of hydraulic oil leaked from one of the bow thrusters, but the Swedish Coast Guard found nothing that indicated further leaks.

Camera equipment was sent from Gothenburg for the Coast Guard’s diver from Karlskrona to investigate the hull. The salvage was expected to take only a few days. The ship’s owner will present a salvage plan for the Coast Guard and the Transport Agency. At present, the weather conditions on the site were calm and windy. The crew of the car carrier remained safe aboard.

2001-built, Panama-flagged, 17,735 gt Makassar Highway is owned by Makassar Highway Shipping SA care of ‘K’ Line European Sea Highway Services GmbH (KESS) of Bremen, Germany. ISM manager is Stargate Shipmanagement GmbH of the same city. It is entered with UK P&I Club (Area Group London J1) on behalf of Makassar Highway Shipping SA.