Windward marine accident analysis : 18th June 2018

Container ship Theseus (IMO 9728954) sustained damage in tropical storm Sagar in the Gulf of Aden on around May 18th. The Theseus was en-route to Colombo on its weekly scheduled call after Jeddah under Ocean Alliance’s Asia-Mediterranean service by Evergreen Line when the storm hit. Some of its containers were washed away, while others were crushed, scattered around or left hanging along the stacks. Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) received a distress call and boarded the vessel for a pre-inspection. CICT said that a comprehensive action plan with a dedicated team of ship-to-shore gantry operators and experienced stevedores permitted a turnround in just 36 hour, after which it headed for Singapore, where it arrived on May 27. 2016-built, Malta-flagged, 148,386 gt Theseus is owned by Franklin Maritime Ltd care of manager Costamare Shipping Co SA of Athens, Greece. It is entered with Swedish Club (Piraeus team) on behalf of Franklin Maritime Ltd.

Windward Take: Possible Loading Plan Error

The Theseus appears to sail into the eye of the storm. Ordinarily, this might point to some kind of navigational error. But our analysis reveals that many other vessels also sailed through the storm. This suggests that conditions, though hardly ideal, were manageable (wave heights reached up to 12m, with winds of up to 75kmh). Given this, it’s possible the Theseus may have suffered damage due to a miscalculation in its loading plan – one that wasn’t suitable for the weather conditions the vessel sailed through (the loss of – and damage to – several containers would lend support to this theory); steering the course it did may have enabled the ship to use the high waves to regain – or maintain – stability of the vessel.



Screenshots showing the Theseus changing course, sailing into the eye of the storm. Source: Windward.

Screenshot shows other ships (marked in blue and orange) also sailing through the storm. Source: Windward.


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