In just one week, three containerships, one cargo vessel and an offshore flotel have become maritime casualties, with lost containers and damaged vessels
Storms in the Pacific, Gulf of Mexico and off northern Europe have left a trail of maritime accidents and salvage opportunities for tug owners.
One containership has partially sunk and two lost cargo in storm conditions off north and west Europe and off the US west coast.
In the northern Pacific, a deepsea large containership has reported damage to at least 100 containers.
ONE Aquila suffered collapsed containers due to severe weather conditions while it was sailing from China to Long Beach, California.
Ocean Network Express (ONE) confirmed the ship changed cause after loss of the container stacks to Port of Tacoma, near Seattle, for an emergency survey, repairs and discharge of the collapsed containers.
“After completion of the discharge operations and repair works, the vessel is to continue its voyage as per its original service rotation,” said ONE in a statement.
ONE Aquila is now due at Long Beach on 26 November and Oakland on 4 December 2020, subject to the progress of operations at Port of Tacoma.
Off Portugal, 1998-built containership Southwester issued distress signals on 5 November after flooding in the engineroom.
There was risk the ship could capsize and sink, although the Portugal Maritime Safety Authority said this Vanuatu-flagged, 5,400-dwt ship was still afloat.
The authority said two tugs were contracted to tow this maritime casualty to a safe port.
Flooding occurred around 30 nautical miles off Figueira da Foz, Portugal, as Southwester was sailing from northwest France to Seville, Spain.
According to Maritime Bulletin, 14 crew on board were rescued by a nearby cargo ship.
Also in Europe, more than 30 containers were lost from a ship in a storm off Scotland.
UK coastguard responded to Dutch cargo ship Francisca after it reported the loss of 33 containers as it passed Pentland Firth en route from Iceland to Rotterdam.
Her Majesty’s Coastguard said it sent an emergency towage vessel and an aircraft to assist Francisca on 2 November. Northern Lighthouse Board and the aircraft were assisting in the search for the lost containers, of which two were reported ashore in South Hoy in the Orkney Islands.
It is thought other containers on Francisca could be in danger of falling overboard.
Also this week, HM Coastguard dispatched emergency towing vessel, Ievoli Black, on 2 November, to assist a cargo vessel that reported engine problems north west of the Shetland Isles.
Crew on this cargo ship completed repairs and the vessel proceeded on its voyage.
However, cargo ship Sema was less fortunate as it sailed along the Don Sea Canal in Russia.
According to Fleetmon, Sema grounded while en route to Turkey from Rostov with a cargo of millet on 3 November. Tugs were mobilised to refloat the vessel.
In Mexico, tugs will be required to refloat a former cruise ship and offshore accommodation vessel after it grounded during its tow to a dismantling shipyard in Tampico.
Enchanted Capri (ex-cruise ship Azerbaijan) has been used as an offshore floatel in the Gulf of Mexico since 2009, but was sent to lay-up this year.
It was decommissioned and was being towed from lay-up to a scrapyard with a skeleton crew of four on board.
According to Fleetmon, Enchanted Capri, was anchored during a storm and waiting for weather to improve, but its anchor dragged and the ships was grounded.
Tugs will be mobilised to refloat the ship and tow it to the decommissioning shipyard.