Above Board – Maritime news from the seven seas

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Deadly Disasters and Other Incidents
It rained cranes the day the containership Milano Bridge hit the quay at Busan in South Korea. While the vessel was trying to berth, she struck the quay as well as several container cranes. One surprised crane operator had to jump from 30 feet up in a bid for safety while the crane he was in started to collapse. He was later taken to hospital with minor injuries. The ship was damaged in several areas as a result of the incident.

The tugboat Albert and tanker barge Margaret, carrying 3,990,000 gallons of diesel fuel, ended up getting lodged in the mud near Peche Island along the Detroit River. Despite the grounding, there was no damage to the vessels and no unintended spillage into the water.

Another incident saw the tanker Ningda aground near Zhoushan, China in the East China Sea. At the time of the incident, the Ningda was on her way to Ningbo but ended up with a damaged hull and water ingress in the engine room. Thankfully a rescue vessel arrived and was able to safely evacuate all seven of the crew aboard.

In Indonesia at Air Kantung Sungailiat, Bangka, a routine loading of quartz aboard the 87-meter-long barge Terang 302 took a sudden nasty turn when the vessel broke in half amidships. At least no one was hurt in the incident.

Near Catania, Italy, in the Ionian Sea, 12 crewmembers had to be quickly evacuated by a nearby cargo vessel after the 114-meter-long Bellatrix cargo vessel they were on suffered a sudden, devastating fire in the engine room that quickly burned out of control.

The port stern of the bulk carrier CSL Elbe hit a pier at Stade-Bützfleth, Germany, while trying to berth upon arrival from her trip from the port of Rafnes. Subsequently both the vessel and the pier were damaged in the incident.

Near San Francisco Bay, a crewman aboard the 1,092-foot containership Yang Ming Unanimity had to be medevaced after suffering a cut on his forehead, the result of falling on the radar mast. An area Coast Guard rescue swimmer was lowered from a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter to perform an assessment before the crewman was airlifted to hospital for further treatment.

Piracy Pulse
At Soyo Anchorage in Angola, a group of 12 armed bandits tried to board an offshore supply vessel at anchor. Thankfully, the alarm thwarted the crowd before they could go any further.

Four marauders who got aboard an anchored chemical tanker at Vung Tau Anchorage in Vietnam, were able to get away with ship’s stores despite the alert crew sounding the alarm.

In Mexico at Hokchi Field, Offshore Puerto Dos Bocas, quite a skirmish ensued when a group of seven armed robbers chased a ship, trying to get three of their thieves aboard. But the fast action of the Master and crew who raised the alarm and performed evasive manoeuvres, sent the interlopers packing.

A group of nasty bandits impersonating stevedores, got themselves aboard a berthed containership at Umm Qasr Port, Iraq. They managed to steal some ship’s properties through an operation that involved handing off to other robbers awaiting the goods. However, once the alarm was raised and the thieves took off, authorities were quickly able to recover everything, thwarting the would-be thieves’ mission.

Kathy Smith writes for global maritime trade journals and provides marketing copy to maritime businesses worldwide. She can be reached at maritimewriter@gmail.com.

Have questions?
Could be about news, trends, basic industry terms, ‘how-it’s-done’ or something you’re observing in your own industry sector. Send them to maritimewriter@gmail.com and I’ll do my best to answer them, either by email or in one of my upcoming columns (where first name-only references will be used).

By Pacific Maritime