In a hectic week for salvors, roro ship Grande America sank on 12 March, 180 nautical miles off the French coast while salvors were trying to dose an extensive inferno. This 214-m Italy-flagged ship was en route from Germany to Morocco when disaster struck.
Grande America started drifting off Finistere, France on 11 March. A fire then started in one of the containers and spread through the cargo and ship. It became uncontrollable and the ship’s captain decided to abandon the 1997-built, 56,642-gt vessel.
All 27 crew entered a lifeboat and were rescued by Royal Navy frigate HMS Argyll, according to FleetMon. Tugs were sent to control the fire, but the ship started to list as water entered through damaged plating and valves and the ship capsized on 12 March.
In Turkey, general cargo ship Yusuf Celal sank in shallow water in the Marmara Sea. This Turkey-flagged, 994-gt vessel was loaded with gravel when it ran aground near Topagac, Marmara Island.
The 1978-built, 65.5-m ship suffered a breached hull and water ingress. This caused the vessel to sink with the superstructure and stern remaining above water. Its crew of six were rescued and transferred to port. Salvors will consider how to refloat the sunken ship.
In Italy, container ship BF Philipp collided with a tug in the port of Ravenna on 13 March. The 1996-built, 4,986-gt, 116-m ship struck the moored tug while entering the port. Its bulbous bow breached the tug’s hull causing a diesel fuel spillage in the water.
Antipollution operations were launched and the port was closed to in and outbound traffic during the clean-up, while BF Philipp was safely docked, according to FleetMon.
In China, two ship collisions have left 12 seafarers missing and two salvage operations. Bahamas-flagged, 2004-built very large ore carrier Vathy struck a Zhejing Fisheries' vessel on 12 March. The vessel sank with 14 crew on board, of which two were rescued and 12 are still missing. The 113,929-gt, 319-m ore carrier was en route from Australia to Caofeidian, Bohai Bay, China, when it collided with the fishing vessel east of Yangtze estuary.
Gravel carrier Hong Cheng Yun 3 and Ningbo Marine bulk carrier Ming Zhou 66 collided in Wenzhou, China, on 12 March. Loaded with coal, Ming Zhou 66 was sailing from its anchorage when it was struck by Hong Cheng Yun 3.
This collision breached the hull of the bulk carrier resulting in water ingress and a starboard list. All 31 crew from both vessels were rescued and it took five hours for salvage tugs to separate the ships from each other. Ming Zhou 66 was towed to safety and Hong Cheng Yun 3 arrived at the port of Wenzhou.