Maritime Casualties, ship disasters, vessel loss, pirate attacks, ship explosions, loss at sea, maritime casualities

International Vessel Casualties & Pirates Database -- Years 1999 And Before

The Forces of Pirates & Weather on Seaborne Commerce

A Courtesy Reference from .........

The Law Offices of

Countryman & McDaniel

 The Int'l Logistics - Customs Broker Attorneys

"Overlooking Runway 25 - Right, at Los Angeles International Airport"


"From many. One."

Index To Our General Services

Contact Countryman & McDaniel

Legal Services of The Firm

Our Staff Attorneys & Law Firm Profile

The Cargo Law Network - Lawyers In The U.S. & Most Major Trading Nations

Library & Search Engine of The Cargo Letter

Search Engine For This Internet Portal - Find Everything You Need

Transport Reference Desk - Virtual Transport Library

24 Hour Int'l Vessel Casualties & Pirates Database

The Photo Gallery of Cargo Loss - Photos & Lessons Learned

Transport Law Navigator - all air, ocean, motor & customs laws

Library & Search Engine of The Cargo Letter

Mega Portal of Trade & Transport References And Services

General Reference Desk - virtual public library

Terms & Conditions Required For Use of This Web Site

TRANS CAMS © - over 380 Transport Cams, 40 Satellites, Streaming Video, Transport Sounds, Short Wave Radio & Air Traffic Control! CLICK HERE

TRANS GAMES © - free transport related adventure games that play directly Online ! CLICK HERE


Vessel Loss Dispatches For 1999, 98 & 97

& Special Articles From

The Cargo Letter

Continued From Our Front Page ........

For Reports Fron 2005 - Go To Year 2006 Database

For Reports Fron 2005 - Go To Year 2005 Database

For Reports Fron 2004 - Go To Year 2004 Database

For Reports Fron 2003 - Go To Year 2003 Database

For Reports From 2002 - Go To Year 2002 Database

For Reports From 2001 - Go To Year 2001 Database

For Reports From 2000 - Go To Year 2000 Database

For Reports From 1999 - Go To Vear1999 Database

For Reports From 1998 - Go To Year 1998 Database

For Reports From 1997 - Go To Year 1997 Database

For Year 2001

>> Click Here

For Year 2000

>> Click Here

Vessel Loss Dispatches For December 1999 - And Before

Vessel Loss Dispatches For Year 2000

Vessel Loss Dispatches For The Current Year

Vessel Loss Dispatches For 1999

Dec. 1999

Nov. 1999

Oct. 1999

Sept. 1999

Aug. 1999

July 1999

June 1999

May 1999

April 1999

March 1999

Vessel Loss Dispatches For 1998

Nov. 1998

Oct. 1998

July 1998

June 1998

May 1998

April 1998

March 1998

Feb. 1998

Jan. 1998

Vessel Loss Dispatches For 1997

Dec. 1997

Nov. 1997

More Coming

Vessel Loss Dispatches For December 1999

Seventeen people, including 2 young children, were rescued after abandoning the the Syrian-flagged cargo vessel M/V Seven Seas in distress off Cyprus on 31 Dec. The survivors, described as 12 Syrians & 5 Romanians, were winched to safefy by British royal air force and Cypriot police helicopters some 33 miles south-east of the east Mediterranean island. Most were crew of the vessel, which was laden with a cargo of steel on its way from Ukraine to Djibouti on the Horn of Africa. When rescue teams arrived about an hour after the 1st distress signal was issued the survivors were found on 2 rafts. A helicopter search failed to locate the ship. Police said they were still investigating what triggered the distress call. "We assume it is on the sea bed by now," a rescue official told Reuters. The survivors included 2 young children. Whole families living in ships is not uncommon & many merchant ships now have such facilities. The distress signal was 1st picked up via satellite by British forces stationed in Cyprus. (Fri. Dec. 31 1999)

Spanish ro-ro vessel M/V ARROYOFRIO DOS ( 8,126 gross tons, built 1985) experienced steering problems off Ushant on Dec 27. Will proceed to Brest with tug assistance. (Thurs. Dec. 30 1999)

The Russian-flagged tanker M/T Volganeft 248 split in two & partially sank near Turkey's biggest city of Istanbul overnight after running aground in heavy winds, a maritime official said on 28 Dec. Television pictures showed the front half of the ``Volganeft 248'' sinking into the sea, while the stern remained afloat in the Marmara Sea off Istanbul. Crew members stood at the railings awaiting rescue. "As far as we know, the lives of the 17-person crew have been saved,'' an Istanbul maritime official said. The ship sank because of stormy weather conditions. There is no disruption to Bosphorus traffic. Environmental protection officials are at the site now trying to take precautions against any spillage. Turkey's narrow Bosphorus and Dardenelles straits, linked by the Marmara Sea, are one of the world's busiest and most treacherous shipping lanes and the scene of frequent sinkings, collisions and ships running aground. Tankers use the straits to transport oil from Russia and the Caucasus to world markets. Turkey opposes the increased tanker traffic, citing the danger to the some 10 million inhabitants of Istanbul which sits astride the Bosphorus straits. But Turkey is unable to restrict the traffic since the straits are governed by the 1936 Montreux Convention which guarantees free passage to all merchant vessels in time of peace. Ships are not obliged to take on a pilot. Turkish authorities halt traffic in the straits during harsh weather when a large tanker is passing through, forcing other ships to anchor off the coast. Two tankers and one container ship have already run aground off Istanbul this month. On the opposite, Asian, shore of the Marmara Sea 15 small boats at anchor in a marina sank in the storm. The worst accident in the Bosphorus in recent years was in 1994 when a Cyprus-flagged tanker collided with a freighter, killing some 29 seamen and causing large oil spills. Some 20,000 sheep were killed when a livestock vessel sank in the Bosphorus in 1991. (Thurs. Dec. 30 1999)

Spanish ro-ro vessel M/V ARROYOFRIO DOS (8,126 gross tons, built 1985) experienced steering problems off Ushant on Dec 27. Will proceed to Brest with tug assistance. (Wed. Dec. 29 1999)

The U.K. tanker M/V BLACKFRIARS (992 gross), in ballast, grounded in heavy seas off the Welsh coast Dec 24. Refloated & towed to Pembroke Dock. (Tues. Dec. 28 1999)

A 5 month-old baby was among 6 people airlifted from a stricken Dutch ship off the northeast coast of England on Saturday, British coastguards said. The 2,000 gt coaster M/V Confidence, carrying a cargo of fertiliser, issued a mayday signal when it was battered by gales and rough seas as it sailed towards the English port of Berwick-on-Tweed. An air force helicopter was sent to evacuate the captain, his wife, their baby and three crew. "As ever, but particularly on Christmas morning, our 1st priority is safety. No injuries have been reported," said coastguard spokesman Stuart McGill. "We have been in touch with the Dutch owners who are presently seeking tugs in order to bring the crew-less vessel under tow but this may take some time given the prevailing weather conditions." (Christmas Day, 1999)

A crewman died on Christmas Eve from injuries sustained when raging seas swamped the 38,000-ton container ship gt M/V OOCL Belgium off the southwest coast of England as heavy rains and gales continued to sweep through the country. His body remains on board and is continuing its passage to Canada. Three other crew from the vessel were airlifted to hospital with various broken bones -- fractured shoulders, spine and head injuries -- they received when a massive wave hit their vessel. Their injuries were severe but that the 3 men were in stable condition. (Fri. Dec. 24 1999)

The Chinese cargo vessel M/V Xin Zhujiang sank in the Taiwan Strait all its 28 crew were rescued but the captain is missing, Xinmin Evening News said. She was a 35,000-ton ship owned by the Guangzhou Haidian Shipping Co, which developed mechanical problems & sank in poor weather near the Pescadores islands off Taiwan. She was carrying iron ore on the way to China's eastern city of Nanjing from Australia. The accident followed one of the nation's worst maritime disasters in recent years last month, when 280 people died after the ferry Dashun caught fire & capsized off the coast of Shandong province. (Fri. Dec. 24 1999)

The Philippine motor ferry M/V ASIA SOUTH KOREA (2,436 gt) sank early today off Bantayan Island. 602 people have been rescued, 9 were dead and 58 were still missing. Philippine maritime history includes the world's worst peacetime sea disaster -- the death of more than 4,000 people in Dec. 1987 when the ferry M/V Dona Paz & an oil tanker collided near Manila. Then too, most of the passengers were people going home for Christmas. Despite frequent sea disasters, ferries remain the most popular means of long-haul transport in this largely impoverished archipelago of more than 7,000 islands because fares are cheaper than air travel. The government has launched a program to upgrade the industry but over-age vessels still ply Philippine waters. (Fri. Dec. 24 1999)

The criminal ship M/V Kobe Queen I has been captured. See the story below (Fri. Dec. 24 1999)

The Maltese motor tanker M/T APNOIA (29,404 gt), laden with 319,000 gallons fuel oil and 48,000 gallons diesel, grounded at 0020, local time, Dec 20 due loss of power and steering while entering Cape Fear River. Two tugs on scene. (Tues Dec. 21 1999)

Dutch tanker M/T BERNICE (1,252 gt, built 1978), Belfast for Liverpool, was deliberately grounded at Cultra, Belfast Lough, after taking water through a hole in her hull. Vessel's engine-room is flooded & vessel has complete power failure. Temporary repairs are to be effected before refloating operations begin. (Mon. Dec. 20 1999)

The Panama M/V VIOLET OCEAN (3,009 gross), cargo logs, sank in heavy seas 40 nautical miles south-east of Shantou, in lat 22 49N, long 117 18E, Dec 15. All crew rescued safely. (Sat Dec.18 1999)

The Maltese M/V DONAL PARAIC (1,486 gross), from Figueira da Foz with salt in bulk, sank 45 miles north-west of Corunna Dec 16. 3 crew rescued safely. 2 dead, 1 missing. (Fri Dec.17 1999)

The Chinese F/V CHCHANG 07005 (120 gross) sank in lat 30 28N, long 127 21.6E, off Atsumioshima following a collision with the Panama m asphalt tanker M/T TKC 101 (1,411 gross) on Dec 15. TKC 101 was undamaged and proceeded on passage. (Thurs Dec. 16 1999)

The Bahamas M/V ROUSTEL (892 gross), Fraserburgh for Tees in ballast, grounded off Montrose, in lat 56 37N, long 02 29W, Dec 14. Refloated with assistance of Montrose Lifeboat. No apparent damage. Subsequently anchored in Tay Estuary for hull inspection. (Wed Dec.15 1999)

The St.Vincent & Grenadines chemical tanker M/V SILVER RIVER (8,041 gross), Ulsan for Kunsan in ballast, and the South Korean M/V YU LIM NO.1 (1,984 gross), Yeonpyungdo Island for Pohang, were in collision off Ulsan Dec 12. Silver River sustained damage to a fuel oil tank with some spillage. Yu Lim No.1 sustained heavy bow damage. (Tues. Dec. 14 1999)

The Maltese tanker M/T ERIKA (19,666 gross), Dunkirk for Leghorn with fuel oil, broke in two & sinking in bad weather in lat 47 12N, long 04 34W, Dec 12. All crew safely rescued. The 25-year-old tanker Erika, carrying 25,000 tons of fuel oil, broke into two in heavy seas. The bow & stern both sank on Dec. 12 and experts estimate that between 8,000 and 15,000 tons of oil have escaped from the ship's various holds. (Mon Dec. 13 1999)

The 30,000 dwt Liberian tanker M/T Louise was forced to make a run for the open waters of the Atlantic after it was fired upon by pirates 18 miles off the coast of Guinea, West Africa. The 1988-built ship suffered extensive damage to its accommodation block & bridge when 15 men wearing brown uniforms raked it with fire from fixed-mount machine guns as well as rockets. An attempt to board the tanker from their small grey military-style vessel failed when they were spotted, although there were initial fears amongst the crew that one of the attackers might have climbed aboard before the tanker escaped. Fortunately, none of the tanker's crew were injured in the attack, which saw bullets pierce steel bulkheads & cabins and badly damage the bridge & radio room. The tanker lost contact with the pirate boat as it headed due west at full speed following half an hour of continuous gunfire, according to the Baltic Int'l Maritime Council, Bimco. (Sun. Dec. 12 1999)

The Japanese trawler F/V ANYO MARU NO.1 (379 gross) sank in bad weather in the Bering Sea Dec 10. 24 crew rescued safely. 12 crew still missing. Search under way. (Sat Dec.11 1999)

The Bolivian M/V NYFJELL (1,896 gross), Ventspils for Great Yarmouth with bulk mono ammonium phosphate, diverted to Ystad on Dec 7 with hole on main deck & water ingress into No.1 hatch. Cargo damaged by water. Surveyed by Class Society. (Fri Dec. 10 1999)

The Maltese-flagged freighter M/V Winter, carrying over 17,000 tons of cement clinker, ran aground near Bangladesh's southwestern Mongla port. The ship ran aground in shallow waters, 62 miles south of Mongla port at 9 a.m (0300 gmt) on Wednesday The port was sending a tug to help refloat the ship during full tide. There is no report of damage to the 29,129 dwt ship. The consignment & all the 23 crew were safe on board The 171.81 meter long ship was carrying the cement from a Thai port to Mongla.

M/V YALIKOY II (499 gt, built 1966) sank about 120 miles northeast of Eregli, in the Black Sea overnight, Dec 8. The 10 man crew was picked up by an Italian flagged vessel, after spending more than 4 hours in lifeboats. (Thurs Dec. 9 1999)

M/V APOLLO FALCON (4,255 gt, built 1972) reported engine problems in lat 48 49.5N, long 04 44.3W, on Dec 5. She was taken in tow early next day, bound for Brest. (Wed Dec.8 1999)

A ferry carrying 18 people & 51 tons of diesel oil ran aground off the Scottish west coast after it was caught in rough seas. A tug was sent to rescue the stricken P&O-run M/V European Highlander, which was stranded on a sandbank near Ardrossan harbor. (Wed. 8 Dec. 1999)

The Maltese chemical tanker M/T ATHOS (17,862 gt) had an explosion on board at Kalamata, off Greece, killing 2 seamen. One person missing. (Tues Dec. 7 1999)

A Maltese-flagged tanker carrying crude oil from Russia to Italy ran aground in the Marmara Sea off Istanbul. The M/T Histria Seatide was grounded as it entered the Marmara Sea from the narrow Bosphorus Strait. It was carrying crude oil from Russia's Novorossiisk port to Augusta in Italy. There were no immediate indications of any oil leakage on the vessel, which the crew were trying to free through their own efforts. (Mon Dec. 6 1999)

The German container vessel M/V MAERSK BATAVIA (16,236 gross), Singapore for Port Klang, grounded while departing Laem Chabang Nov 28. Reported to be taking water. Refloated and sailed Dec 1 bound Singapore for repairs. (Sat. Dec. 4 1999)

The Lebanese M/V PERLA (885 gross), Piraeus for Italy, grounded in the River Evinos delta, in lat 38 18N, long 21 29E, Dec 1. No damage reported. Initial refloating attempt failed. Further attempt with 2 tugs to be made Dec 2. (Fri Dec. 3 1999)

The Antigua & Barbuda M/V PALATIN (5,753 gross), Venezuela for Rotterdam with aluminium rods, had cargo shift & developed a 30 degree list off Vigo in lat 42 32N, long 11 41W, Dec 1. Crew rescued by helicopter. Tugs proceeding. Holds appear flooded & some cargo containers lost. (Thurs Dec. 2 1999)

UPDATE: An uncharted rock probably caused the capsize of heavylift vessel M/V Mighty Servant 2, and the loss of 5 lives, last month. The ship's owner, Belgian company Dockwise, says a new, specially commissioned hydrographic survey of the area near the Indonesian island of Singkep has discovered a "single isolated pinnacle of granite directly on the ship's course." The rock is not on existing charts. 

Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Special Articles From The Cargo letter for Dec. 1999

***The Search For M/V Kobe Queen 1 Ends

by Michael S. McDaniel for The Cargo Letter

LAX - 27 Dec. 1999 -- There is a dramatic end to the story reported to you in The Cargo Letter [345 & 346], as a world wide search for the renegade freighter M/V Kobe Queen I came to a conclusion last week. Elements of the Indian Coast Guard captured this criminal ship following a running gun battle on the high seas.

M/V KOBE QUEEN 1 was scheduled for Rio Haina, Dominican Republic, in early Aug. 1999, but failed to arrive with her 15,000 metric ton cargo of finished steel worth over US$5M.

The 1976-built 18,500 dwt vessel had sailed from Istanbul, Turkey in July, departing Dakar after a short call on Aug. 3. Then contacted & said diverted by Odessa-based owner Babush Marine, both Babush & the ship's master Capt. Yuri Levkovsky refused to give details of the location or destination of the Kobe Queen I. The vessel was ultimately declared a criminal and sought by world governments, including Her Majesty's Customs & Excise. A global sea chase had begun with a US$100,000 reward posted for information leading to arrest of the Panamanian registered bulk carrier.

Kobe Queen I is known to have bunkered at St. Vincent, Cape Verde, at the end of Aug. and again at Lagos over Oct. 18-19. The ship, which dodged a close attempt at arrest while in Lagos, left port with supplies & fuel for about 6 weeks. After standing out of Nigeria, the vessel went incommunicado. Communications from Babush Marine in Odessa resumed, but were sporadic & very unclear, and then ceased again. Every effort was made to spread the word on this matter, through Lloyd's agents, The Cargo Letter, port authorities, law enforcement, steel brokers & breakerage agents. This type of criminal activity threatens every charterer, cargo broker, underwriter, forwarder & shipper.

On 24 Dec. 1999 (23 Dec. in the West), the chase ended as the Indian Coast Guard patrol vessel Vikram with 2 escorting naval aircraft closed in on Kobe Queen 1 off Pondicherry, India ... and prepared for gun action!

Watchful eyes at Wilson & Co Ltd, the Madras Lloyd's Agents, had spotted the criminal ship, now renamed M/V Gloria Kopp. Following a report to local authorities, plans for an immediate interception in Indian waters went forward.

Despite being out of stores, watch standers had evidently remained vigilant as the Vikram was spotted some 6.5 miles within Indian waters. The now renegade pirate crew weighed anchor, making for open sea under cover of a storm and the hoped for protection & immunity of Int'l waters 13.5 miles off shore. Gun fire was exchanged with the pirates as the Vikram also battled strong winds & high waves to finally over take and board Kobe Queen I.

The hot pursuit ended only after an on deck scuffle forced the 25 Ukrainian crew to surrender. Capt. Levkovsky was not found among the assembled prisoners.

Under guard, the Chief officer of Kobe Queen I was sent to the Captains cabin. The missing master would be summoned to Int'l justice.

Only when the cabin door was broken down did a final tragedy for M/V Kobe Queen I become known. Capt. Yuri Levkovsky was found hanging from a nylon rope, an apparent suicide. Other reports to The Cargo Letter attribute death to a single gunshot.

Her pirate days over, Kobe Queen I has been towed to port. Both vessel & crew remain under arrest & facing action by Indian authorities. While details of an initial court hearing last week are pending, it will be a bleak Year 2000 (and perhaps many others) for the Ukrainian crew turned pirates.

Although Wilson & Co Ltd. reports all cargo to have been recovered intact, the Times of India News Service suggests 2,000 of 15,000 ton cargo may have been sold by the pirates in Senegal.

Permission now granted, it can be reported here that the global search for M/V Kobe Queen I was led by Mr. Alan Spear, Director of the special unit "Operation Intercept" at Intercargo Insurance Company, the leader in marine cargo insurance. The successful recovery was a joint effort of cargo underwriters Intercargo, Fireman's Fund & Alliance Insurance who had insured the cargo for over US$5M. The claims are understood to have been paid to the cargo interests, but these grateful underwriters are now said prepared to congratulate the sharp eyes of the Lloyd's Agents, Wilson & Co Ltd. at Madris with payment of the US$100,000 reward.

The courageous actions of all who took part in this historic effort are expected to send a warning signal to the "Pirate Mafia" that vessel hijacking will end with death & detention, not financial rewards. The tide has begun to turn as our industry begins to take action against the common threat. Though hanging was the traditional punishment for pirate captains, few are recorded for a master having betrayed the trust of his own command.

The Cargo Letter wishes to thank our many readers who have contributed global sighting information to us over the past 90 days of this historic search for M/V Kobe Queen I.

***Pirates Get Death .......... as in its biggest high-seas piracy case in years, China has sentenced 38 pirates to death for crimes including the slaying of 23 seamen who were bludgeoned to death & dumped overboard. Prosecutors alleged that the 38 defendants, who went on trial 10 Dec., were members of a gang that posed as anti-smuggling police to hijack 3 ships in 1998. One of those hijacked was the M/V Chang Sheng, a freighter carrying coal cinders. Prosecutors say the pirates handcuffed, tied up & gagged the ship's 23 crew members. The gang allegedly then bludgeoned the crew members to death & tied heavy weights to their bodies before dumping them into the sea, the state-run Beijing Morning Post said. Members of the gang were charged with crimes including murder, robbery, and possessing weapons, drugs & explosives. This is seen as China's biggest case of high-seas robbery & murder in 50 years of Communist Party rule. The trial opened in the Shanwei City Intermediate People's Court in the southern coastal province of Guangdong, lasted 6 days and ended on 22 Dec. The pirates were all Chinese, except for an Indonesian identified in Chinese newspapers as Suoni Wei, and have 10 days to appeal.

***Pirates Take Another Hit ............... as the hijacked cargo ship M/V Alondra Rainbow has been recovered after being boarded by the Indian Coast Guard 200 miles off the coast of Goa. The vessel's occupants initially claimed that the ship was the Belize-flagged M/V Mega Rama, bound from Manila. However, when it became clear that there was no such ship the coast guard was ordered to detain the vessel. Despite repeated orders to stop accompanied by warning shots, the pirates only did so after being fired upon directly by an Indian navy missile ship. An attempt to dispose of the evidence by setting fire to the vessel & its documents before opening the seawater intake valves to scuttle the ship was thwarted by the coast guard boarding party. The handling of the operation by the Indian authorities was praised by Capt. Mukundan of the Int'l Maritime Bureau. "This was a perfect example of cooperation between the shipping industry and law enforcement"; he said. Noel Choong, the IMB's regional director in Kuala Lumpur, echoed these sentiments, saying: "The Indian coast guard did a very good job. It is the 1st time a large operation of this kind took place to combat piracy." All 15 pirates, who claim to be Indonesian, are currently being held in Bombay for questioning. 4,087 tons of the original cargo of 7,000 tons of aluminum ingots were still aboard at the time of the ship's seizure.

***Pirates Attack ........... as the 30,000 dwt Liberian tanker M/T Louise was forced to make a run for the open waters of the Atlantic early this month after it was fired upon by pirates 18 miles off the coast of Guinea, West Africa. The 1988-built ship suffered extensive damage to its accommodation block & bridge when 15 men wearing brown uniforms raked it with fire from fixed-mount machine guns as well as rockets. An attempt to board the tanker from their small gray military-style vessel failed when they were spotted, although there were initial fears among the crew that one of the attackers might have climbed aboard before the tanker escaped. Fortunately, none of the tanker's crew were injured in the attack, which saw bullets pierce steel bulkheads & cabins and badly damage the bridge & radio room. The tanker lost contact with the pirate boat as it headed due west at full speed following half an hour of continuous gunfire, according to the Baltic Int'l Maritime Council, Bimco.

***Another Search For Missing Ship - Pirates?......... as the Int'l Maritime Bureau has issued an alert for the long-overdue Thai-flagged ro-ro ferry M/V 9 Sea Star 4. The 461 gt, 1965-built ship left Hong Kong with 8 crewmen on board on Oct. 14 bound for Thailand and has not been seen since. Anyone sighting the missing vessel should report it the IMB piracy reporting center through The Cargo Letter. However, the length of time since the ship was last sighted makes it unlikely that it will be seen again, unless reports of its arrival or loss have 'slipped through the net' and this is merely a case of mis-reporting.

***Pirate Parrot Hoists His True Colors ......... as a foul-mouthed parrot called Percy has been sacked from the cast of a British children's show for forgetting his lines & swearing on stage. Percy initially behaved himself as he perched on Long John Silver's shoulder in rehearsals for "Pirates on Treasure Island." But the 17-month-old Amazon parrot stunned the cast at an arts center in Blandford Forum, in western England, when he forgot his lines & let fly a string of expletives. Instead of shrieking "Pieces of eight," he blurted out "Piss off mate" and "Bugger off." The Jakes Ladder Theater Company decided not to risk a repeat in front of an audience of children & kicked Percy off the cast. Mark Hyde, 45, who plays Long John Silver, said: "I could not believe what I was hearing. One minute the rehearsal was going perfectly and then Percy comes out with this. We all stood there in stunned silence before we burst out laughing." The hunt is on for a replacement parrot with no prior maritime experience.

Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Vessel Loss Dispatches For November 1999

The Liberian container vessel M/V MONAGAS II (10,225 gross), Bremen for Vitoria with containers, was immobilized with engine problems 200 nautical miles north of La Corunna Nov 29. LOF signed. (Tues Nov. 30 1999)

Norwegian catamaran/passenger ferry M/V SLEIPNER (500 gt, built 1999), Stavanger for Bergen with 89 people on board, struck a rock near Ryvarden lighthouse, off Haugesund, evening of Nov 26 & sank 40 minutes later. Seventy people were rescued from liferafts, however 13 people were killed and 5 are still missing, presumed dead. (Mon. Nov. 29 1999)

A freak wave which struck the Hapag-Lloyd-owned M/V Europa during a transatlantic voyage injured 30 passengers after cabin fittings & furniture were torn from their mountings. The incident, which occurred west of the Azores in severe weather, was only reported when the ship reached Bermuda several days later, and only appeared in the German media once the ship docked in New York. The injured passengers suffered broken bones as well as cuts and bruises and were all successfully treated on board both by the ship's doctor and another doctor who was travelling on the vessel. (Mon. Nov. 29 1999)

The Marshall Islands M/V ELIZA (5,938 gt) reported fire & explosion in lat 10 21.9N, long 84 13E, at 2220, UTC, Nov 25. At 2329, UTC, vessel reported fire decreased but flooding and listing 10-deg to starboard. Requires assistance. Reported at 1110, UTC, Nov 26, that vessel abandoned and two tugs proceeding, ETA evening of Nov 27. Ship was c arrying 261 TEU containers for Bangladesh. The 126-metre-(378-foot)-long freighter was sailing some 200 miles (320 kms) off the Indian port of Madras. All 22 crew including the Egyptian captain abandoned the ship in a lifeboat, he said without giving further details. There were containers of industrial chemicals, raw cotton, onion & other commodities aboard. (Sat Nov. 27 1999)

At least 140 people died & 172 were missing after passenger vessel M/V DASHUN caught fire, foundered & broke up in stormy waters off the east coast of China on Nov 24., near the port of Yantai. The ro-pax ferry Dashun with 312 passengers & crew on board, caught fire as it sailed from Yantai in Shandong Province to the port of Dalian in the teeth of heavy seas and gale force winds. Distress signals were sent out at 4:30 PM on 24 Nov. afternoon & passengers took to the lifeboats. No rescuers appeared until the following morning, by which time many of them had frozen to death in the boats. At least 120 bodies have been recovered while 22 survivors have been taken to hospital. The fire on board the ferry was eventually put out in evening and the ship drifted to within one & a half nautical miles of the shore, where it capsized & sank just after midnight. This is the 2nd of operator Yanda Ferry Shipping's ferries to sink in recent weeks, with the loss of the Shenlu 30 miles off Dalian last month. China's last big maritime accident was in 1994 when 133 people died after a collision between a ferry & a freighter on the Yangtze River. With up to 170 people still unaccounted for, the loss of the Dashun could be the country's worst ever maritime disaster. (Fri Nov. 26 1999)

Maltese M/V REDA (1,949 gt, built 1976), with cargo of diammonium phosphate, broke from her moorings at Gunness Wharf, River Trent, Nov 24 and drifted aground on west bank of the river. The vessel, which sustained hole in port bow ballast tank, was towed to Gunness Wharf to discharge cargo & then to Hull for drydocking. (Thurs Nov. 25 1999)

Understood salvage services rendered to St. Vincent & Grenadines M/V SEMELI (3,875 gt), Bordeaux for Greek ports, cargo grain/maize, which immobilised due rudder damage 30 miles off Cape Finisterre. Vessel, which arrived Ferrol Nov 23 in tow, to be drydocked for repairs. (Wed. Nov. 24 1999)

Bermudan container vessel M/V CANMAR TRIUMPH (16,680 gt, built 1978) had engine failure & grounded in St. Lawrence River on Nov 21, blocking the channel. Vessel was towed to Montreal and cleared to proceed on voyage for Italy following inspection. (Tues. Nov. 23 1999)

The Russian bulk carrier M/V SERGO ZAKARIADZE (16,502 gross). Farsund for San Juan, Puerto Rico, with cement, had steering failure and grounded in the San Juan Ship Channel Nov 18. Several ballast tanks damaged. Tugs on scene, however, bad weather hampering salvage. (Sat. Nov. 20 1999)

The Azerbaijan M/V GEZENFER MUSABEYOV (3,048 gross) Constantza for Malaga with cornflower, grounded at Cape Mounda, in lat 38 03.6N, long 20 46.5E, Nov 17. Still aground Nov 18. Salvage negotiations under way. (Fri. Nov. 19 1999)

The German m container vessel M/V COMET (3,999 gross), outbound from Aarhus, and the German M/V ANNEGRET (3,998 gross), inbound for Aarhus, were in collision in lat 56 09.4N, long 10 15.7E, Nov 16. Comet sustained damage to stern & proceeded. Annegret sustained severe damage to starboard bulb & bow, requiring repairs prior to resuming trading. (Thurs. Nov.18 1999)

The hijacked M/V ALONDRA RAINBOW loaded from Indonesia was chased & arrested 430 km off Goa by the Indian Navy on the Arabian Sea, 16 Nov. 1999. After shots were fired, 15 Indonesian pirates were captured. The 7,000 gt vessel will be escorted to Mumbai for investigation. The masked pirates with automatic weapons & long knives had taken the vessel on 22 Oct. and renamed her M/V MEGA RAMA. (Tues 17 Nov. 1999).

The Turkish M/V KARAER III (1,595 gross) contacted the quay at La Nouvelle during stormy weather Nov 15. Sustained severe damage. (Wed. Nov. 17 1999)

The hijacked M/V ALONDRA RAINBOW loaded from indonisia was chased & arrested by the Indian Navy on the Arabian Sea, 16 Nov. 1999. The vessel will be escorted to Mumbai for investigation. The pirates had renamed the vessel M/V MEGA RAMA. (Tues 17 NOv. 1999).

The Turkish M/V KARAER III (1,595 gross) contacted the quay at La Nouvelle during stormy weather Nov 15. Sustained severe damage. (Wed. Nov. 17 1999)

The Bahamas LNG carrier M/T MATTHEW (88,971 gross) Arzew for Boston, had tailshaft problems & overheated bearing and sailed Boston, in tow, Nov 12, bound Newport News. (Mon. Nov. 15 1999)

The North Korean fish factory CHIL BO SAN (9,162 gross) grounded while fishing during a heavy storm in the Bering Sea, in lat 60 27N, long 169 30E, Nov 9. Sustained serious damages and flooding. Some crew taken off. Tug on scene, however, salvage hampered by bad weather. (Sat. Nov. 13 1999)

Brazilian rescue workers on 12 Nov. held out little hope of finding more survivors among dozens still feared missing from a wreck of the ferry M/V Captain Pinheiro on the Amazon River that killed at least 3 people. A woman & 2 children drowned and 55 others were rescued after the low-riding Captain Pinheiro ferry sank on the night of 10 Nov. after crashing into rocks in an archipelago near the riverside town of Coari. "The search is now more for bodies (than survivors)," said a journalist in the Amazon town of Coari, quoting river traffic officials. "They have found 55 survivors since the ferry capsized." While the vessel's official register lists only five people as missing, witnesses said up to 100 people may have been aboard the boat when it sank. Firefighters said as many as 50 people may have disappeared into the swirling waters of Latin America's longest river or been trapped in the boat. The Captain Pinheiro left Manaus, capital of Amazonas state heading for the town of Tefe with 51 people officially on board. It had traveled some 150 miles (240 km) upstream, picking up to as many as 30 passengers at farms and villages on the way, before sinking 9 miles (15 km) west of Coari. The boat plunged to a depth of 130 feet (40 meters). Witnesses said the ferry was so weighed down with grain and other merchandise that the turbine engines were submerged as it moved through the murky waters. When the boat hit the rocks it sank within 2 minutes. Transportation officials have often criticized the ferries on the rivers of the dense Amazon rain forest for taking on too much cargo to navigate safely through their strong currents. One of 3 lifeless bodies area fishermen pulled from the turbulent Amazon waters belonged to the 1-year-old granddaughter of the ship's owner & another to a 5-year-old boy from Brasilia who had been visiting his sick grandmother. (Fri. 12 Nov. 1999)

The St. Vincent & Grenadines oil/ore carrier M/V LASSIA (74,139 gross), Point Central for Taranto with iron ore, sustained structural breakage between Holds Nos. 3 & 4 during discharge at Taranto Nov 8. Vessel bent without breaking. Fore & aft now touching bottom. Crew ordered off. (Thurs. Nov. 11 l999)

The Turkish M/V ALICAN DEVAL (982 gross), Hopa for Samsun with ore, sank off Rize/Pazar, due to very strong winds, Nov 9. Seven crew dead. Five crew rescued. (Thurs. Nov. 11 1999)

The Cyprus M/V MIKA (1,895 gross), Riga for Bremerhaven with timber, contacted the German ro-ro M/V SCAN BOTHNIA (8,811 gross), Jakobstad for Emden with forest products, in the Kiel-Holtenau locks Nov 7. Mika sustained heavy damage forward. Scan Bothnia sustained damage to stern ramp & small hole above waterline. (Wed. Nov. 10 1999)

The Belize-registered freighter M/V Semele (5,945 gross), Nikolaev for Algeria with steel sank at the mouth of the Bosporus Strait after colliding with M/V Sipka on 6 Nov. Passing ships rescued the 18 crew of the Semele, which went down shortly after colliding with another freighter, the Bulgarian-flagged M/V Sipka. The strait remained open after the accident, which left a large oil slick. The 6,000-ton Semele was enroute to Algeria with a load of steel from Nikolaev in Ukraine. The 16,000-ton Sipka was heading to Varna, Bulgaria. It was damaged but not in danger of sinking. The accident came as an Istanbul-based environmental group, the Nature Warriors, was staging a demonstration against tanker traffic in the Bosporus Strait. Some 440 million barrels of oil transit the Bosporus each year & nearly 3,500 ships pass through each month. Some 200 accidents over the last decade in the strait, which bisects the ancient metropolis, have caused oil spills & fires that sometimes shut down the strait. Shipka sustained damage & is anchored at Ahirkapi.(Sat. 6 Nov. 1999)

Liberian refrigerated M/V DOLE AMERICA (10,584 gt, built 1994), bound for Antwerp loaded with bananas, contacted Nab Tower Navigational Aid in Southampton Water and sustained water ingress. Vessel has damage to three starboard tanks forward, as well as flooding in engine-room. Salvage team on board. (Mon. Nov. 8 1999)

UPDATE: The master of the 10,400 dwt reefer ship M/V Dole America which nearly sunk after striking a lighthouse off the south coast of the UK has been fined US$5000 for endangering ships, structures & persons by failing to navigate his ship safely. The vessel hit the 90 foot high Nab Tower lighthouse in excellent weather in the early hours of Nov. 7, badly damaging the ship, which began to list heavily as it took on water. Salvage tugs had to beach the ship to avoid having it sink. Norwegian master Alf Aas had intended to steer east of the lighthouse but changed course when he saw the red lights of fishing vessels ahead. He accepted that it was an error of judgement to fail to spot the tower, which is equipped with a lighthouse beacon flashing every 10 seconds and visible from 16 miles, "a massive structure easily detectable on radar." The UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency, prosecuting, said that they had appreciated the full cooperation of the captain, who "had shouldered his responsibilities admirably."

Devastating floods have killed 223 people across 6 coastal Provinces in Vietnam. The Air Force & Navy are helping to rescue stranded people and search for missing fishing vessels. One thousand people have been trapped in 3 trains for several days in Quang Binh Province. (Sat. Nov. 6 1999)

The Liberian M/V HOEGH DUKE (30,061 gross), Mumbai for Hampton Roads with rubber & plywood, had fire in Nos. 6 and 7 Holds off the coast of Hampton Roads Oct 31. Fire under control Nov 3 and vessel berthed Norfolk. Extent of damage not yet known. (Fri. Nov. 5 1999)

The Panama M/V SAN MARINO, ex NAN HUI, (4,852 gross), Solomon Islands for Shanghai with timber, reported stranded off Pu-Tai, Chia-Yi, Hsien, Taiwan, in about lat 23 23N, long 120 09E, Nov 2. Crew still on board, all safe. (Thurs. Nov. 4 1999)

The Netherlands Antilles semi-submersible heavy load carrier M/V MIGHTY SERVANT 2 (21,162 gross), Singapore for Cabinda, capsized in lat 00 48S, long 104 20E, Nov 2. The 1983-built ship, owned by Belgium-based offshore heavylifting group Dockwise, had a crew of 20 and was carrying an 8,790 ton offshore production module at the time of the accident, which reportedly occurred in calm seas. The ship is currently on its side in 35m of water, with 5m of its hull still above the surface. Divers searching the vessel discovered the bodies of 2 Dutch & 2 Filipino crewmen inside the vessel, and the search for a remaining man has entered its final stages inside the wreck. This was a very impressive, huge & famous vessel. (Wed. Nov. 3 1999)

UPDATE: An uncharted rock probably caused the capsize of heavylift vessel M/V Mighty Servant 2, and the loss of 5 lives, in Nov. 1999. The ship's owner, Belgian company Dockwise, says a new, specially commissioned hydrographic survey of the area near the Indonesian island of Singkep has discovered a "single isolated pinnacle of granite directly on the ship's course." The rock is not on existing charts. 

Four hundred people had to evacuate the Greek ferry M/V Superfast III after a fire broke out in its garage deck which left 14 Kurdish stowaways dead. The ship had 307 passengers & 106 crew on board when the blaze started 15 miles into its voyage from the Greek port of Patras to Ancona in Italy. (Wed. Nov.3)

The Isle of Man M/V DONNINGTON (7,788 gross), Norway for Hunterston in ballast, had main engine shutdown due to smoke in engine-room in lat 58 41.7N, long 05 03.1W, Oct 31. One engine restarted. Taken in tow by tug/supply vessel Portosalvo bound Ullapool, where ETA Nov 1. (Tues. Nov. 2 1999)

The Cyprus container vessel M/V SIMA STAR (5,148 gross) had internal leakage from a ballast tank into cargo hold & listed in lat 26 52N, long 51 47E, Oct 31. Pumps delivered on board and situation under control. (Mon. Nov. 1 1999)

Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Special Articles From The Cargo letter for Nov. 1999

***Pirates Out of Control ......... as the Int'l Maritime Bureau (IMB) in London defines piracy as "the act of boarding any vessel with the intent to commit theft or other crime and with the capability to use force in the furtherance of the act.''

Piracy flourishes where it always has: in the Caribbean where Henry Morgan & Blackbeard once ruled the waves, off North Africa where corsairs once plundered the Barbary Coast, in the Far East where the pirate junks of the famed Chieftain Ching Yih were the scourge of the South China Sea, in the Malacca Straits where some 2,000 ships a day pass from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean.

In the first 9 months of this year, the IMB recorded 180 cases of piracy, ranging from petty theft of cash & parts to hijacked oil tankers. In 1998, it reported 202 cases. But, officials say, most high seas crimes never get reported. According to the IMB, a ship can be hijacked to order for US$300,000 in the Philippines and delivered in 3 days.

The latest in this high-stakes game of high-seas crimes is a phenomenon known as phantom ships. Hijacked by pirates, a ship is repainted, the crew dumped or killed, the cargo transferred or sold. The ship sails into a new port with a false name & false papers. To the legitimate seafaring world, it is a phantom. The case of M/V Anna Sierra is a good example. The Cyprus-registered general cargo ship left Bangkok for Manila on Sept. 12, 1995, carrying US$5M worth of sugar. Steaming through the Gulf of Thailand, it was hijacked by 30 masked men, who sped alongside in powerboats, clambered aboard and set the ship's 23 crewmen adrift on rafts. Rescued by fishermen, the crew alerted the piracy center, which immediately sent word to ports & offered a reward. Days later, the ship was located in the Chinese port of Beihai. It had been renamed "M/V Artic Sea" (misspelled by the pirates). But its original name was still faintly visible, revealing its true identity. Pressed by the IMB, Chinese officials boarded the ship and placed the crew under guard. Then began a 9 month war of words & paper to ascertain ownership. After endless wrangling, the authorities gave up. The pirates were sent home to Indonesia. The ship was abandoned by its owner and, to this day, sits rusting in a Chinese port. The losers: the companies that insured the ship & its cargo.

Maritime organizations like the IMB & the Int'l Maritime Organization (a branch of the UN) are trying to change this, pressing governments & ship owners to work together to combat high seas crime. They've had some success, but Int'l cooperation has not been uniform. For example, the case of the Singapore freighter M/V Hye Mieko. In June 1995 it was hijacked off Cambodia by a ship resembling a Chinese customs launch and forced to sail more than 1,600 km through international waters to Shanwei, in south China. Although the ship's plight was broadcast worldwide, not a single vessel came to its rescue. On arrival in China, the ship was impounded. The owner, who had followed the ship's path from a small plane, was charged with intending to smuggle cigarettes. He was detained to cover the crime.

A very partial list of recent Pirate cases include:

Jan. 9, 1998: An oil tanker owned by Shell Int'l Trading was boarded by 4 armed pirates in Santos, Brazil. They shot 2 British crew members & threatened to blow up the ship.

Jan. 24, 1998: Pirates boarded a freighter docked in the Miami River at night. They pistol-whipped the crew & then jumped overboard to avoid capture by police.

March 3, 1998: An Australian yacht was sailing toward the island of Manus, in Papua New Guinea, when it was hailed by local women selling vegetables from a dugout canoe. As the yacht pulled alongside, 9 men armed with long knives & axes leaped from the canoe, overpowered the yacht's crew, stabbed the captain & stole goods worth thousands of dollars.

April 16, 1998: Twelve armed pirates hijacked a Malaysian tanker carrying a cargo of gas oil & kerosene from Singapore to Vietnam. They forced the crew to sail to Hainan Island in China, where they attempted to sell the cargo, before being intercepted by police.

March 17, 1999: Twenty pirates with face-masks & machine guns boarded a Panamanian cargo ship in Thailand. The crew was set adrift in inflatable rafts. They were picked up by fishermen. The ship turned up in southern China under another name.

March 28, 1999: Pirates armed with knives, machetes & machine guns boarded a Panamanian bulk carrier anchored in Sapele, Nigeria. They ordered the crew to the bridge, where they began firing their guns and smashing up equipment. Several crew members were injured.

April 9, 1999: Pirates sped alongside a Lithuanian refrigerator ship in Zaire, firing at it with machine guns. The pirates boarded and stole cash & valuables.

April, 1999: Pirates with long knives boarded an Irish chemical tanker off Lepar Island in Indonesia, taking 2 crew members hostage and stealing cash from the master's safe.

May 4, 1999: Pirates boarded a Finnish yacht off the northeast coast of Somalia, took the crew hostage and demanded ransom.

May, 1999. Pirates boarded a ferry packed with tourists off Mexico's Caribbean coast. They robbed passengers, threw 2 security guards overboard & destroyed the ferry's communication system before escaping in a speedboat.

June 8, 1999: Armed pirates in speedboats hijacked a Thai oil tanker off the east coast of Malaysia & set 16 crew members adrift.

June 24, 1999: Somali pirates attacked & hijacked a German yacht en route from New Zealand to a tourist island in the Indian Ocean. They held crew members hostage and demand US$50,000 in ransom.

July 20, 1999: Twenty armed pirates boarded a Bahamas chemical tanker with a crew of 17 Russians off Lagos near the Pennington Oil Field. They beat the crew, took hostages & removed equipment from the ship.

Sept. 11, 1999: Armed pirates boarded a British yacht as it was sailing around the world. One of 5 crew members was shot & buried at sea the next day.

***Thai Pirates Strike ......... as 17 crew members of the missing cargo ship M/V Alondra Rainbow have been found by fisherman in Thai waters. The ship was hijacked by 10 pirates armed with pistols and swords on Oct. 22 and the crew transferred to a smaller vessel. The hijackers set them adrift in a 20-man raft a week later with supplies, albeit limited, of food & water. The crew spent 10 days drifting in Thai waters, during which 6 ships passed them by despite their use of flares and other emergency signals, before they were found & rescued by Thai fishermen. The 17 men are all reported to be in good health. There has still been no reported sighting of the hijacked vessel itself.

***Yemen Pirates Strike .............. as pirates sprayed bullets into an Australian family yacht near the coast of Yemen & the vacationers were eventually rescued by a Saudi Arabian oil tanker. Moya Tucker, resting with her husband & 2 children at a Yemeni army resort in Aden, said her family were shaken but none was hurt in the incident which occurred on 12 Nov. Tucker, who is from New South Wales, said the family were sailing near the Aden coast when 5 pirates in a fishing boat stopped them, claiming they were policemen. The pirates began firing at the yacht when Tucker tried to speed away. "The men fired many shots into the cockpit, breaking the windows, and we were lying on the floor. I had to crawl along to the children who were terrified," she said. But the pirates caught up with the yacht & 3 of them came onboard. "We came out of the cockpit. They said they were policemen & ordered us to sit down. They kicked me & my boy on the head. Then he asked for money," Tucker said. She told the gunman that she only had 50 British pounds, but he went inside searching for valuables -- taking a video cassette recorder, a computer screen & some fruit. The pirate asked for whisky and she gave him some as well as a bottle of wine. But the alcohol sparked an argument with his colleagues, who forced him to leave the bottles behind. Help came about one-and-a-half hours later, when a Saudi oil tanker located them & towed the yacht into the port of Aden. The military commander of Yemen's southern region, Brigadier-General Mohammed Maqoulah said the Yemeni government would pay for repairing the yacht which is expected to take about 3 months. The pirates were captured on 14 Nov. and will stand trial.

***Brazil Takes Steps Against Pirates ........ as the Brazilian government has stepped up its war against pirate activity in its seaports with a new maritime police force, known as Nepom. It will operate in the ports of Santos & Rio de Janeiro to prevent crimes against ships in port or anchored in territorial waters. These crimes may range from armed robbery, drugs & weapons trafficking, & waterway terrorism. "It's encouraging to see that Brazil is looking beyond just armed robbery," said Thomas Timlen of the Baltic and Int'l Maritime Council, which represents hundreds of carriers & ship agents in Brazil. "They are taking steps to enhance their port security." Brazil recently deployed 2 high-speed motorboats in Santos for anti-piracy efforts. The government plans to add 7 more motorboats & split them between Santos & Rio de Janeiro.

***M/V Carissa Update ............ as attempts on the USA's Oregon coast to remove the beached stern section of the woodchip carrier have been abandoned until spring next year due to increasingly poor weather. Salvors have spent the last few weeks making strenuous efforts to haul the 120-ft hulk out of the sand but have had to concede defeat as winter weather sets in. The ship originally ran aground in Feb. and removing the wreck has already been a long-running & complicated operation. The bow section of the ship, towed into deep water, could only be sunk with the aid of a torpedo from U.S.S. Bremerton while the stern section has steadfastly resisted efforts to shift it out of the sand. Salvors had hoped to remove it before the weather deteriorated but will now have to sit it out until the spring. For the full & quite amazing account & photos of "The Ship That Would Not Die", visit our special "Gallery of Cargo Loss"

Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Vessel Loss Dispatches For October 1999

The St. Vincent & Grenadines M/V DUBAI OASIS (6,212 gross) reported a severe list in the Bay of Bengal, in lat 16 36N, long 87 36E, Oct 29. All crew abandoned ship and safely rescued. (Sat. Oct. 30 1999)

The Panama M/V ALONDRA RAINBOW (7,762 gross), Kuala Tanjung for Miike, Japan, with aluminum ingots, was taken by pirates on Oct 22. See our story above. The crew of 17 has been rescued, the vessel remains missing (Fri. Oct. 29 1999) US$100,000 REWARD - contact The Cargo Letter

M/V PIONER SEVERODVINSKA (5,370 gt, built 1975), Archangel for Honfleur with timber, grounded at the entrance to Honfleur fairway at 1100, Oct 22, due to steering problems. Vessel was refloated later same day with tug assistance and towed into Honfleur. (Monday Oct. 25 1999)

The Croatian M/V BORAK (328 gt), Koromacna for Solin with 360 tons cement, sank between the Vela Sestrica & Mala Sestrica islets, SW of Zlarin Island near Sibenik, at 0530, Oct 21. Three crew rescued & 2 missing. (Sat. Oct. 23 1999)

The Cyprus M/V HENRY NAVIGATOR (11,033 gt), Bourgas for Cape Town was towed out of Cape Town Harbor on Oct 20 after experiencing ingress of water. Crew evacuated. Towline broke and vessel lying on side in lat 33 37.68S, long 17 53.78E. Vessel sank in deep water. (Fri. Oct. 22 1999)

Collision between m bulk carrier M/V Graceous (85,695 gt) & bulk/oil carrier M/V Lula I (62,031 gt) in the Traffic Separation Scheme, outside Singapore port limits, which caused damage to both vessels. (Wed. Oct. 20 1999)

Russian icebreaker M/V ADMIRAL MAKAROV (14,058 gt, built 1975), towing a dry dock to the Bahamas, had towline break on Oct 14 and the dry dock was adrift off eastern Canada in the Cabot Strait between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. The dry dock, with 15 people on board, was adrift in heavy seas for 2 days before being taken back under tow by the Admiral Makarov on Oct 16. All 15 crew members were reported in good health. (Mon. Oct. 18 1999)

In a suspected act of sabotage by pirates, an oil tanker belonging to Myanmar exploded while at anchor near the country's tense border with Thailand on 16 Oct. Two crewmen on the oil tanker died & a cargo ship also was destroyed. Thai police at the nearby port of Ranong, 290 miles southwest of Bangkok, arrested 3 Myanmar nationals 5 hours after the explosion. Police said the 3 pirates were carrying dynamite and traveling in a boat in Thai waters. They were charged with illegally crossing the Thai border & possessing explosives. The incident comes at a time of bilateral tension: Myanmar's military regime has blamed Bangkok for allowing anti-Myanmar "terrorists" to operate from Thai territory. Officials from Myanmar, also known as Burma, were not available for comment on the explosion. (Sat. Oct. 16 1999)

The Panamanian motor ore carrier M/V Fu Kuo Hsin (4,556 gt) had an engine failure on October 9 when leaving Kaohsiung as Typhoon "Dan" approached Taiwan. The vessel dragged her anchor and began to drift. A tug secured a line on the vessel, however, she dragged her anchor & ran aground at Chichin, Kaohsiung. Port operating normally. (Fri. Oct. 15 1999)

The Italian ro-ro m ferry ARBOREA (11,324 gross), Civitavecchia for Olbia with passengers and vehicles, ran aground off Olbia port entrance in thick fog on Oct 26. Tug Impetuoso on scene. Vessel expected to refloat at high tide. Passengers remain on board. (Wed. Oct. 27 1999)

The Madeiran M/V TRANSMAR (2,820 gross), Raaha for Vejle with steel & timber, grounded at Nyckeln lightbuoy, north of Kalmar, Oct 25. Three ballast tanks leaking. Currently awaiting diver & tug. (Tues. October 26 1999)

The St. Vincent & Grenadines container vessel M/V DUBAI TRADER (9,764 gross), Mersin for Gioia Tauro, Italy, with containers, grounded off Crete, in lat 35 30.8N, long 26 16.6E, on Oct 27. Sustained cracks to hull & some fuel oil leakage. Tug Megas Alexandros proceeding. (Thurs. Oct. 28 1999)

M/V Courage, Lagos for Aveiro, due to bad weather and possible engine failure, ran aground on the S. Jacinto beach at Aveiro. Vessel did not enter the port before running aground. Her 18 crew were safely taken-off. Salvage of the vessel will be very difficult. (Fri., Oct. 22)

M/V Dorothy Jean, 72 gt (built 1977) (not Dorthy) was refloated later on Oct 13 & towed into Ketchikan. Vessel has completed temporary repairs & is currently en route to Seattle where she will undergo permanent repairs. (Fri., Oct. 22, 1999)

Passenger vessel M/V Galapagos Discovery continued to burn during the night & until 0900, today when she finally sank near Balboa. 90% of the ship's hull is now under water. At the present location the wreck does not represent a hazard to navigation but there is some concern that the pressures caused by tidal changes could cause her to shift towards the navigation channel. Tugs remain at the scene to ensure safe navigation in the area. No pollution has been reported so far and the wreck has been boomed to contain any possible leaks. The Discovey Class vessels have led the way to passenger comfort in cruises of discovery to isolated world areas. This is a great loss. (Fri., Oct. 22, 1999)

The Panamanian motor bulk carrier M/V SANAGA (14,929 gt), with 26 crew on board, reported in lat 27 34.3S, long 44 13.6E, about 700 miles ENE of Durban, at 1000, UTC, taking water in No.1 hold. Down by head 2.5 meters & at waterline level to Nos. 1 & 2 holds. Ingress to No.2 hold. Nos 1 & 2 decks awash. Heading 258 degs true. The crew were rescued by the container vessel M/V Sagittarius Challenger. Sanga is adrift. (Tuesday Oct. 12 1999)

The Norwegian ro-ro ferry M/V TYSNES (534 gt) ran aground outside Valevaag, north of Haugesund about 0920, local time, Oct 13. Vessel's hull & propeller damaged. Vessel now at shipyard at Rubbestadneset, on Bomlo. (Thurs Oct. 14 1999)

The Egyptian tug/supply vessel M/V MARIDIVE XII (844 gt) sank in bad weather while en route from Port Said to Baltim on Oct 10. The master and 2 of his crew were killed. (Wed. Oct. 13 1999)

The Egyptian tug/supply vessel MARIDIVE XII (844 gt) sank in bad weather while en route from Port Said to Baltim on Oct 10. The master & 2of his crew were killed. (Oct. 13)

The Panamanian motor bulk carrier M/V SANAGA (14,929 gt), with 26 crew on board, reported in lat 27 34.3S, long 44 13.6E, about 700 miles ENE of Durban, at 1000, UTC, taking water in No.1 hold. Down by head 2.5 meters & at waterline level to Nos. 1 & 2 holds. Ingress to No.2 hold. Nos 1 & 2 decks awash. Heading 258 degs true. (Oct. 12 1999)

Two crewmembers serving on board the 317,000 dwt VLCC tanker M/T Atlantic Prosperity had to be flown to hospital under UK police escort after a knife fight erupted between them. The incident happened as the vessel entered the North Sea after leaving Rotterdam earlier in the day. One man was treated for a stab wound to the shoulder while the other had a severed finger. The doctor worked on them for an hour before allowing them to be airlifted to hospital with a police escort. Although the incident happened outside UK jurisdiction, the involvement of the police was requested by the Master of the vessel due to the severity of the incident. Both men, Philippino nationals, are now being questioned. The cause of the fight is not known. The 1995-built Panamanian-registered vessel was unladen at the time, and heading into the North Sea to await employment. According to the UK Maritime & Coast Guard the ship's safety was never in any danger. (Oct. 10)

The Panamanian bulker M/V Ocean Wave, ran aground & developed a crack on its bottom near Bangladesh's southwestern port of Mongla. It was carrying 14,500 tons of imported cement. (Oct. 10)

The Russian replenishment tanker M/T PECHENGA (8,499 gross) sustained main engine damage in the Sea of Okhotsk Oct 7. Taken in tow by salvage tug Atlas same day bound Aniva Bay, Sakhalin Island, where ETA about Oct 9. (Oct. 9)

The crew of the 35,000 dwt bulk carrier M/V Aspidoforos successfully beat off two pirate speedboats in the Straits of Hormuz at the entrance to the Persian Gulf, it was reported last week. The general alarm was sounded on board the 1982-built Bahamas-registered vessel when it became clear that the occupants of the boats were trying to board. The crew was put on alert, fire hoses were prepared and the vessel undertook evasive maneuvers. After ten minutes the pirates broke off their pursuit.

The Liberian motor ore carrier M/V WESER ORE, 134,366 gt, bound Taranto with full cargo of iron ore, ran aground in Tubarao at 0015, Oct 4. Vessel has flooding damage. Vessel, which still aground, has a slight port list due to ingress of water in ballast tanks. Considering off-loading part cargo. (Oct. 6)

The Cyprus M/V PHOENIX II, 1,934 gt, Safi for United Kingdom, sent a DSC alert at 1724, UTC, Oct 3, indicating she was in distress and abandoning ship in lat 33 29N, long 09 25W. M/V Juan J.Sister proceeded & rescued all 9 crew about 1900, UTC. Vessel understood to have sunk in lat 33 29N, long 09 25W, about 1930, UTC (October 5)

Italian bulk carrier M/V BULKIGNAZIO ((73,116 gt, built 1990), Hampton Roads for Antwerp, contacted Berendrecht lock while entering the lock on Oct 3. Vessel sustained 20-meter crack above the waterline & also slight damage to starboard side. Vessel will berth for survey. (Oct. 3)

An explosion aboard an LPG tanker M/T Mundogas Europe docked at Subic Shipyard in the Philippines killed at least 5 people. A shipyard statement said the vessel was being prepared for undocking when an explosion occurred in a cargo tank. The 1968, 17,699 dwt ship was sold to Olympi of Chile for US$4M last month. (Oct. 4)

The Philippines M/V OCEAN SAMPAGUITA (5,484 gross) dragged anchor during Typhoon "Bart" and grounded off Hesaki Sep 24. Refloated and towed to Shinkasado Sep 28 for repairs to damaged bottom plating and propeller. (Oct. 1)

Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Special Articles From The Cargo Letter For October 1999

***Pirate Murders Reported ......... as the Int'l Maritime Bureau (IMB) has cautiously welcomed recent Chinese moves against piracy. The PRC delegate to the IMO, Guo Xin wrote a recent letter to London-based shipping daily Lloyd's List defending China's actions with regard to piracy and, in particular, its decision to repatriate the crew of the cargoship M/V Tenyu which turned up, renamed as M/V Sanei-I in China after being hijacked between Indonesia & Korea. The original crew is feared murdered. Passports & visas carried by the Tenyu's crew prove, according to Ms Guo, that the 16 Indonesian men joined the ship after the hijacking had taken place. She dismissed widely voiced concerns that China had released the alleged perpetrators of the hijacking as 'absolutely groundless." However the IMB claimed that it was certain that the chief mate on the Tenyu when it arrived in China was the same man who had been 2nd mate on an earlier hijacked ship, the M/V Anna Sierra. According to the IMB it was certain that this man had been involved in the actual hijacking of the Anna Sierra. The crew operating that ship was also released by the Chinese authorities. Ms Guo's letter also appeared to contain new information on the bulker M/V Cheung Son, whose 23-strong crew is known to have been murdered. She wrote in her letter:

"On August 15. 1999, the arch-criminal involved in hijacking the M/V Cheung Son was arrested and the case has been completely settled. This has shown clearly that the Chinese government will, within the full limits of its laws, deal heavy blows to any criminal acts at sea."

The letter gave no further details. However an IMB spokesman said that the M/V Cheung Son had not yet been located. Meanwhile the 2,000 dwt Thai tanker M/T Siam Xanxai found in Southern China after it was hijacked off Malaysia in June is reportedly to be returned to its owners by the Chinese authorities. All but one of the 17 crew of Thai nationals were dumped overboard into a speed boat and were rescued by local fisherman in Sarawak. One crew member was held hostage to help run the ship. The Chinese police are reported to have arrested 10 Indonesian nationals on piracy charges following the detention of the tanker. Will they be charged with crimes? This story is not over.

***The Search For M/V Kobe Queen 1 .......... LAX - 12 Oct. 1999 -- A party with cargo interest aboard the M/V KOBE QUEEN 1, Panamanian Registry, Greek ownership, Ukrainian operation, is offering a very substantial reward for information leading to vessel location and cargo recovery, guaranteed by in cash by The Cargo Letter. M/V KOBE QUEEN 1 was scheduled to arrive Rio Haina, Dominican Republic, in early August 1999 and has failed to arrive. Cargo interests suspect that the vessel may attempt to sell her cargo, including steel, in an unknown port. Notifications should be sent to The Cargo Letter. URGENT. Please send us full details by e-mail, phone or fax. Contact information is always at the end of this page. US$100,000 REWARD for information leading to arrest of the vessel!

Vessel details are:

Name: M/V KOBE QUEEN 1 (ex M/V Barenbels)

Type: GGC -- General Cargo

Flag: Panama

Class: GL/NV

Gross: 12,156

DWT: 18,500

Built: 1976

Length overall: 148.9 m

Beam: 23.0 m

Depth: 13.0 m

Hull type: Double bottom

Call Sign: 3FVM8

Owners: NOMINATOR, Greece

We must find M/V Kobe Queen 1. She may be re-flagged or re-named. Please check your local harbor. This matter is very important to us. The PIRATES are the crew. McD

Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Vessel Loss Dispatches For September 1999

The Panamanian m bulk carrier M/V HYUNDAI SPIRIT (68,093 gross), Newcastle, Australia, for South Korea with coal, broke her moorings during discharge and grounded at "Boryung," west coast of Korea, Sep 28. Engine-room reported flooded and some oily residue spilled. Owners/Underwriters arranging salvage. (Sept. 30)

The Malaysian m tanker M/T PETRO STELLA (3,022 gross) caught fire at Port Dickson on Sep 27. The fire is under control. (Sept. 29)

Bahamian passenger vessel M/V NORWEGIAN SKY (78,200 gt, built 1999) grounded near Tadoussac in lat 48 05N, long 69 33W, on Sep 24. Vessel, carrying around 2,000 passengers on 10-day cruise from Quebec City to Newfoundland and Maine, refloated same day and proceeded to anchorage for diver inspection. (Sept. 27)

The German container vessel M/V PUNJAB SENATOR (53,324 gross) and the German ro-ro ferry JOCHEN STEFFEN (5,293 gross) were in collision off Brunsbuttel Sep 21. Both vessels sustained slight damage but were able to proceed. (Sept. 24)

The Panama-flagged general cargo vessel M/V EASTERN HOPE (2,818 gt), Noro for Xingang with about 4,000 cubic meters of round logs, was abandoned by her crew after listing heavily following shifting of on-deck cargo in lat 21 52N, long 134 20E, on Sep 13. Vessel was subsequently reached by a tug, which towed her into Hiroshima on Sept. 22. (Sept. 23)

The Cyprus M/V SELNES (3,658 gross), bound Wismar with stone, grounded in lat 54 56N, long 11 00E, Sep 20. She refloated with tug assistance, after some cargo lightered off, Sep 21. No leakage or pollution. Now anchored to reload cargo, after which she will resume passage. (Sept. 21)

The Sierra Leone tanker M/T WORLD KINSHIP (49,827 gross), loaded with crude oil, is delayed at Dar es Salaam due to a defective single buoy mooring. The SBM is being replaced. (Sept. 18)

The Hong Kong area has been severely affected by typhoon "York", with at least one person killed, over a hundred injured and almost all transport above ground at a halt. Several vessels were blown aground, including crane vessel OHI 5000 (36,367 gt) and container vessel M/V TEMPO (16,135 gt). (Friday Sept. 17 1999)

The Russian general cargo vessel M/V VOLGA 4003 (4,911 gt), touched bottom, causing water ingress, in the vicinity of Gogland Island, off St. Petersburg, on Sep 10. Vessel subsequently berthed at St. Petersburg, where an inspection revealed torn bottom plating over a 60 foot length. (Wednesday Sept. 15 1999)

The Panama oil/chemical tanker M/T PERGAMOS (,631 gt), Gdynia for Three Rivers with a cargo of liquid urea, grounded on Hatterbarn Reef, in lat 55 52N, long 10 51E, on Sep 12. Tugs are presently on scene. (Tuesday Sept. 14 1999)

The Singapore container vessel M/V X-PRESS JAYA (6,973 gt, built 1980) had fire in engine-room Sep 10 following main engine turbo-charger explosion about 90 miles from Jebel Ali. Vessel will be towed to Jebel Ali. (Monday Sept. 13 1999)

The bow of the Thai LPG carrier M/T PAK ONE, which sank off Koh Kud, Trat, in August 1996, has moved upwards & is now only 4 to 5 meters below the surface. The cargo of liquified petroleum gas is keeping the bow upright. (Saturday Sept. 11 1999)

The Chinese M/V SHUN LONG (711 gt), from Hong Kong with containers, sank off the Ninepin Islands, in lat 22 15.25N, long 114 21.95E, Sep 8. All crew safely rescued. (Friday Sept. 10 1999)

The St.Vincent & Grenadines bulk carrier M/V WELL SPEEDER (16,184 gt), Port Louis for Lagos with cement, had water ingress in Holds Nos. 1 & 2 during bad weather & reported sinking in lat 20 23S, long 56 26E, Sep 6. Crew abandoned & rescued safely. (Wednesday Sept. 8 1999)

The Singapore bulk carrier/container vessel M/V BLUE MASTER (20,578 gt) was in collision with the U.S. F/V MASTER STEVEN (142 gross) off New Orleans Aug 27. Blue Master was holed in her No.1 starboard fuel tank & leaked about 50 barrels of oil. She subsequently arrived New Orleans Aug 28. Master Steven sustained bent outrigger. (Tuesday Sept. 7 1999)

The Maltese M/V KRISTINA (2,478 gt, built 1973) touched bottom in Black Sea on Sep 3, was abandoned by crew and subsequently sank in approximately lat 44 20N, long 33 12E. (Monday Sept. 6 1999)

The vehicle carrier M/V GRANDE EUROPA (51,714 gt, built 1988) grounded near "Kennedy Tunnel", River Schelde, while proceeding to berth at Scheldequay, at 0300, local time, today. Vessel was refloated at 0535 & proceeded to berth on her own. (Saturday Sept. 4 1999)

The St. Vincent & Grenadines M/V SONIA (4,659 gt), Southampton for Greece, laden with grain, reported Sep 1 in Sandown Bay, Isle of Wight, with water ingress into her engine-room. Vessel down in the stern & listing to starbord. Vessel requested tugs, pumps & divers, for underwater repairs. Tug on scene & has commenced pumping operations. Pumps coping; situation remains stable. (Wed., 1 Sept. 1999)

An Argentine Boeing 737 aircraft crashed on take-off from an airport near Buenos Aires, Aug 31. 80 people are believed to have died in the crash. Seven passengers are believed to have survived. (Thursday September 2 1999)

Special Article From The Cargo Letter For September 1999

***M/V Ever Decent Is "T-Boned"............ as the fire aboard Evergreen's 4,211 TEU container vessel was finally extinguished a week after her 23 Aug. collision with the Norwegian Cruise Line ship M/V Norwegian Dream in the English Channel, N.E. of Dover. The Panamanian flagged container vessel (52,090 gross), was moving ex Hamburg with a crew of 40, bound for Los Angeles with 3092 containers. The Bahamas passenger vessel M/V NORWEGIAN DREAM (50,764 gross), was on 12 day Baltic Cruise with 1,600 passengers & 800 crew, until the collision in lat 51 26N, long 01 56E. Norwegian Dream sustained major damage to bow & bridge and berthed at Dover Aug 24, reporting 28 injuries. At least 5 containers where thrown on the cruise ship deck by the tremendous force while others went overboard. The fires were fueled by more than 40 of the cargo ship's containers stowed with ``hazardous'' materials, including paint & paint hardener. It currently appears that Norwegian Dream struck Ever Decent broadside, in the port side fore middle hold. This said, the collision occurred during clear weather, in a major shipping lane, with operating radars. Expect certain Norwegians to walk the plank. The Ever Decent towed to Zeebrugge after her fires were suppressed. Over a period of six days some 6 ships sprayed a total of a million tons (that's tons) of water onto the Ever Decent's cargo in order to extinguish the fire. The greater part of the cargo on the 52,000 ton vessel remained intact, but perhaps soggy. Ever Decent will resume service in the next few days, following completion of temporary repairs at the German yard Blohm & Voss yard. Evergreen says that the containership has now sailed from Europe toward the U.S., before crossing the transpacific. In Oct., the ship will reach Japan, where complete repairs will be carried out during a dry-docking. General average has been declared on the ship. Most of the 1,800 TEUs on board the ship were unloaded in Zeebrugge. The Ever Decent will carry 300 undamaged containers to the U.S. >>>>>> The contributions of our reader Mike Patterson are appreciated. For more, see our Vessel Loss Dispatches, feature below.
Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Vessel Loss Dispatches For August 1999

The St.Vincent & Grenadines M/V IRIS I (1,847 gt), Thessaloniki for Rouen with yellow corn, sank in lat 41 42N, long 009 42W, Aug 29. All 8 crew safely rescued. (Tuesday Aug. 31 1999)

The Barbados M/V VANESSA C. (1,853 gt), for Great Yarmouth with wheat, contacted a wall while entering Great Yarmouth & later took water in a hold and settled on bottom at Berth1D, Great Yarmouth. Crew taken off. Surveyors to attend. (Monday Aug. 30 1999)

The Cambodian bulk carrier M/V LEVENT (19,914 gt), Belawan for Bremen loaded, had a fire in her generator room while on passage through Straits of Dover Aug 23. Discharged cargo at Brake same day. Subsequently arrived Bremen Aug 25, where detained under Port State Control after inspection. (Saturday Aug. 28)

The Maltese bulk carrier M/V KARTERIA (21,266 gt), from New Orleans with iron oxide fines, had explosion in her holds in lat 37 28N, long 45 30W, Aug 25. Two persons killed & 2 injured. Vessel proceeding under own power to Ponta Delgada, where ETA noon, Aug 28. (Friday Aug. 27 1999)

The Canadian F/V RED SUN (221 gt) was reported taking water west of Petit Passage, Nova Scotia, on Aug 23. The crew successfully halted the leak & pumped out the water and the vessel proceeded to port under her own power. (Thursday Aug. 26 1999)

The Panamanian m container vessel M/V EVER DECENT (52,090 gt), Hamburg for Los Angeles with containers, was in collision with the Bahamas m passenger vessel M/V NORWEGIAN DREAM (50,764 gt), on 12 day Baltic Cruise with 1,600 passengers and 800 crew, in lat 51 26N, long 01 56E, late Aug 23. Norwegian Dream sustained damage to bow and bridge and berthed Dover Aug 24. Ever Decent is still on fire Aug 24 with tugs in attendance. (Wednesday August 25 1999) See our full story, above.

The Turkish bulk carrier M/V MELIKSAH (10,992 gt), Russia for China with fertilizer, reported taking water in her engine-room & subsequently sank off Dondra Head, Sri Lanka, Aug 23. All 27 crew rescued safely. (Tuesday August 24 1999)

The U.S. dredge barge MARICAVOR (571 gt) sunk at her moored position at the Port of Miami on Aug 20. All 4 crew members evacuated the vessel safely. Officials are on the scene to begin an investigation into the sinking. (Monday Aug. 23 1999)

CMA-CGM resorted to unloading containers from its 3,538-TEU vessel M/V Ville de Capella, after failing to tug the ship out of Hong Kong's port. The Ville de Capella, which runs the "MEX" service between Asia & the Mediterranean, had its journey cut short when it got caught in Typhoon Sam which hit the SAR on 22 Aug., disrupting most maritime & cargo schedules.

The Bahamas bulk carrier M/V MANDARIN ARROW (35,998 gt) while waiting to berth at Fletcher Challenge, Duncan Bay, was caught in a cross current & grounded on sandbar on Aug 17. Refloated & berthed. Sustained minor hull damage. (Saturday Aug. 21 1999)

The German stern trawler F/V GERDA MARIA (2,122 gt) had a fire on board in lat 53 28.7N, long 02 55.5E, Aug 18. Crew abandoned & all safely rescued. Still drifting on fire Aug 19. Tug Waker on scene. (Friday Aug. 20 1999)

The German container vessel M/V NAVIGIA (2,240 gt) had main engine failure & disabled in the North Sea off Hanstholm 18 Aug. Tug proceeding and will tow her to Hanstholm. (Thursday Aug. 19 1999)

The Singapore bulk carrier M/V SEA CRANE (26,951 gt), Mobile for Yokohama, reported main engine problems Aug 16. She has diverted to Honolulu at reduced speed to effect repairs. ETA Honolulu 21 Aug. (Wednesday Aug. 18 1999)

The Belize M/V GOLDEN VIRGO (6,158 gt) while anchored at Mukalla drifted aground in strong winds Aug 10. Tug proceeding from Aden. (Tuesday Aug. 17 1999)

The German container vessel M/V CONTSHIP HARMONY (31,207 gt, built 1997), struck underwater object in Gulf of Aqaba Aug 15 & sustained flooding to a forward area. Proceeding under own power for Aqaba. (Monday Aug. 16 1999)

The Belize M/V GOLDEN VIRGO (6,158 gross) while anchored at Mukalla drifted aground in strong winds Aug 10. Still aground Aug 16. Tug proceeding from Aden. (August 16)

The Panamanian M/V GARDENIA ACE (28,567 gross), bound Los Angeles loaded, had an engine-room fire and drifting off Monterey, CA, Aug 12. Fire extinguished Aug 13. Unable to regain power. Tug proceeding, and will tow to Los Angeles. (August 14)

The Italian cable layer M/V GIULIO VERNE (10,617 gross) caught fire while loading cable at the Pirelli Pier, Pozzuoli, Aug 10. Sustained serious damage to accommodation & engines. Arrested pending investigation. (August 13)

The Turkish bulk carrier M/V INANC (16,794 gross) grounded in mud at the entrance to the Savannah River Aug 9. She refloated with assistance on Aug 10. No damage reported. Proceeded. (August 12)

The bulker M/V Lady Bella (details pending) from China to several South American ports with FAK cargo sustained intense engine room fire off Midway Island. Believed abandoned. In tow to Hawaii. (August 11, 1999)

The Belize tanker M/T INES (3,838 gross) sank following an explosion off Fujairah Aug 9. The Panamanian storage tanker M/T THEA (68,885 gross), moored alongside, sustained damage to her after section as a result of the explosion. 5 crew are still missing. (August 11)

A yet unidentified tugboat & an oil tanker collided in the thick haze blanketing parts of Indonesia, igniting the tanker & killing 10 people. Oil leaked from the tanker, caught fire and engulfed a nearby cargo ship. At the time, visibility in the area had been cut to 50 yards by the smoky haze, said a port official in Pekanbaru, 500 miles northwest of Jakarta. All the dead were crewmen on the river tanker. (9 August)

The Dutch general cargo vessel M/V NOUAKCHOTT (2,800 gt) grounded at Punta Tenefe, Grand Canary, on Aug 4. Divers are to inspect vessel before a further refloating effort during the evening of Aug 5. (August 7)

The Cyprus M/V Fontana suffered engine damage after a collision with Vietnamese freighter M/V Saigon-1 at the outer anchorage of Bangladesh's main Chittagong port on 7 Aug. The local agent of Fontana, said: ``Fontana has been badly damaged and its engine broke down. We will seek compensation.'' (August 7)

The North Korean cargo ship M/V Jang Dae San. The Pakistan Navy rescued 43 crew members from the ship which ran aground 90 miles off Karachi in heavy weather. All the crew were brought safely off the ship by helicopters & were taken to shore. (1 August)

Special Article From The Cargo Letter For August 1999

***Scared Strait ........... as attacks by pirates in the Singapore Strait have prompted fears that shipping may be put off using the Strait and have also raised the possibility of a major accident occurring in the busy international waterway. Sixty-eight of the 115 actual or attempted attacks so far this year occurred in So. E. or East Asia but the most serious incident was in Mexico where pirates held 253 ferry passengers hostage and threw 2 security guards overboard, one of whom drowned. The latest IMB report says one person was killed in the period, in the Mexican incident, compared to 26 in the first half of last year. Nevertheless extreme violence remained a feature of many attacks and one crewman of a tanker hijacked off Tioman Island, Malaysia, is still unaccounted for. Attacks frequently involved taking the bridge watchkeepers hostage & preventing them from carrying out their duties. This means that ships are steaming without anybody ensuring safe navigation. That is a recipe for disaster in the crowded and restricted waterway. On Jan 16 a loaded VLCC, the M/T Chaumant, was attacked in the Philip Channel. The pirates threatened the watchkeeping officer with a machete and tied his hands. The IMB notes: "The serious consequences due to the grounding of collision of a VLCC cannot be overstated." Four other tankers were boarded in the Singapore Strait.
Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Vessel Loss Dispatches For July 1999 [parital losses]

The Greek-registered M/V Pel Mariner sank off the Turkish coast after colliding with M/V Pel Ranger, near Bozcaada, an island near the entrance of the Dardanelles Strait which links the Aegean to the Sea of Marmara.. Two crew members are missing. The Coast guard and ships in the area rescued 10 other crew members from the Pel Mariner, which was carrying empty containers to Turkey's Gemlik port from the Greek port of Iraklion. (27 July)

The Chinese bulk carrier M/V Changyu sank after colliding with M/T Mee Yang, a South Korean chemical tanker near the port of Nantong on the eastern Yangtze river. Thirty 3 crew members had to be rescued from the 1975-built, 12,108gt bulker which was carrying 18,000 tons of coal. The 1993-built, 1,590 gt Mee Yang suffered minor damage & is now berthed in Jiangyin pending a survey. (26 July)

Special Article From The Cargo Letter For July 1999

***Pirate Death Claims Paid ........... as the London Club, a mutual P&I underwriter, has settled the US$2.3M claim for compensation for the deaths of the 23 Chinese crew of the Hong Kong owned bulk carrier M/V Cheung Son, which was attacked by pirates some time after sailing from Shanghai on November 13, 1998. A number of individuals have been arrested by Chinese authorities on suspicion of murdering the crew, but the vessel has never been traced. The attack came to light when fishermen discovered a number of the crew's bodies, bound hand & foot and weighted down.
Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Special Article From The Cargo Letter For June 1999

***Greatest Safety Problem: Pirates! .......... as the Safe Navigation Committee of the Asian Shipowners' Forum has issued a report concerning two of the most pressing issues concerning safe ship navigation: piracy & stowaways. The SNC said that piracy is arguably the single greatest menace to modern shipping today. In 1998, the Int'l Maritime Organization (IMO) received 210 cases of piracy & armed robberies on ships around the world. Included were ships reported to have been hijacked with the crews killed & cargo stolen. The committee said that 10 ships had been attacked in the Singapore Strait in the first 3 months of this year, as against 1 or 2 in the previous year. The Singapore Police Coast Guard & Singapore Navy have steeped up coordinated patrols with the Indonesia Navy & Marine Police to deter future attacks in the Strait. Because of these incidents, Asia has become widely viewed as a piracy hotspot, said the committee. Pirates today are well aware of the loopholes that have been created for them and they are not slow to exploit them, escaping from one country's waters to another, knowing that they will not pursued or prosecuted, said the committee. On the subject of stowaways, the committee said that this threatens crew safety and added to shipowners' insurance costs.
Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Special Article From The Cargo Letter For May 1999

***PIRATES: The Escapees Are Very Lucky ......... as 21 crew are lucky to be alive after surviving for 6 days on tiny swimming pool-style inflatable rafts in the shark-infested waters off the Thai & Burmese coasts last month. The entire 21-strong crew of the 8,100 dwt general cargo ship M/V Marine Master were ordered off their vessel by armed pirates on March 21 and picked up by passing Thai fishermen on March 27. News of the incident was only released last week by the specialist anti-maritime crime body ICC-International Maritime Bureau (IMB). The pirates had brought along 9 tiny, flimsy plastic rafts into which they cast the crew who were given only a small amount of food. Most of rafts sank quite quickly while the food ran out in two days. By the time of the rescue the men were in a desperate state, clustered around the one raft still afloat. The pirates are thought to have been either Thai or Burmese speakers. They wore masks and some were dressed in military uniforms & were armed with automatic weapons and pistols. The Panamanian-flag vessel had been on a voyage from Nantong in China to Calcutta with a cargo of bagged soda ash. It is owned by Taiwanese interests and was on charter to a South Korean company. The 1978-built ship had a black hull, dark red bottom & white superstructure. However, the IMB warns that the vessel's name, particulars and flag could have been changed. IMB sources believe the ship will be used for scams against charterers in which so-called "phantom ships" with false identities load cargo and disappear. By any measure, matters are getting worse.
Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Special Article From The Cargo Letter For April 1999

***M/V New Carissa - A Vessel That Would Not Die! ........... as it was a tragic month for the storm grounded the wood chip carrier on 11 Feb. 19-99, along the Oregon Coast. The vessel grounded, was set afire and then blown up in an effort to burn off her bunker oil. New Carissa broke in two and was towed to sea, only to reground herself again seventy miles away. Towed back to sea, the embattled ship was finally set upon by U.S. Navy gun crews and torpedoed by the submarine U.S.S. Bremerton on 11 March! The Cargo Letter has assembled dramatic photos & text which tell the whole story of this "March Madness". Visit the site and see M/V New Carissa under fire! CLICK HERE
Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Special Articles From The Cargo Letter For March 1999

***Pirates More Murderous .......... as Pirates killed more people on the world's high seas in 1998 than the year before, but the number of attacks has dropped, says the Int'l Maritime Bureau. The modern swashbucklers killed 67 crewmen last year, compared to 51 in 1997. Scores of other people were assaulted and injured. There were 198 pirate attacks last year, compared with an all-time high of 247 in 1997, according to the London based bureau. The drop was due to measures taken by ship owners & captains to keep their ships safer. ``The pirates are getting increasingly violent,'' said the bureau's regional manager, Noel Choong, who compiled the report. ``Years ago, they would steal the cargo, loot the ship's safe & rob the crewmen. ``These days, the pirates are increasingly brazen. They steal the entire ship & they kill the crew,'' he told The AP. Since 1991 the number of reported pirate attacks worldwide has nearly doubled. A total of 15 ships were hijacked in 1998, mostly in S.E. Asia, where there are many small islands that make ideal hideouts for pirates. Two months ago, pirates killed all 23 crew members of the bulk carrier M/V Cheung Son sailing on the So. China Sea, Choong said. Their bodies were weighted & flung overboard. Days later, Chinese fishermen found 6 bodies, still bound & gagged, snagged in their nets. Authorities in China arrested 7 suspects, but the ship, under a Panamanian flag, remains missing. A crisis.

***Murderous Pirates Arrested .............. as 3 South Koreans have been arrested at the Port of Inchon on charges of involvement with hijacking the Japanese cargo ship M/V Tenyu, western port of Inchon. The 2,600-ton Tenyu, disappeared Sept. 27 after leaving an Indonesian port with a cargo of aluminum worth about US$4.3M. Five months later, the ship was found in Zhangjiagang port in Jiangsu province near Shanghai, China bearing a new name, ``M/V Sanei-1,'' with a Honduran flag & 16 Indonesian crewmen on board. Before the hijacking, the ship had been piloted by a South Korean captain, Shin Young-ju, & chief engineer, Park Ha-joon, and was manned by a crew of 12 Chinese sailors. All of the crewmen remain missing & were feared killed by hijackers. Police said Lee admitted purchasing the ship & the aluminum from 2 Chinese-Indonesians and selling them to a Chinese company in early October, shortly after the ship had disappeared.

Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Vessel Casualties - 1998

Special Article From The Cargo Letter For November 1998

***IMB Warns Of Pirate Threat ........... as the Int'l Maritime Bureau (IMB) has renewed its call for strong government action to stamp out piracy in Asian waters. A spokesman for the specialist anti-maritime crime arm of the Int'l Chamber of Commerce said: "We would like regional government ship which attracted suspicion in the Gulf of Thailand in the middle of Oct. The spokesman said fears were growing for the safety of the 2 Korean & 13 Chinese crew of the 4,240 dwt Panamanian flag dry cargo vessel M/V Tenyu. The 1986-built vessel left Kuala Tanjong on September 27, bound for Korea with a cargo of 3,000 tons of aluminum ingots. There has been no confirmed sighting of the vessel since it sailed but it could have been an unidentified.
Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Special Article From The Cargo Letter For October 1998

***M/T Petro Ranger Pirates "Walk" ........... as Chinese authorities on Hainan island, China, were, in early Oct., preparing to release 12 suspected pirates instead of extraditing them to Malaysia, according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB). The 12, carrying Indonesian identity documents were detained by Chinese police following the discovery, off Hainan, of the hijacked Malaysian-flag tanker Petro Ranger in May. The ship had been hijacked at sea, by 12 pirates, en route for Ho Chi Minh City, and was diverted to Hainan. The master and crew were subjected to considerable violence during the hijack. Some of the ship's cargo of 9,574 tons of gas oil and 1,591 tons of kerosene was unloaded by the pirates while the rest was eventually seized by the authorities before the ship was allowed to sail.
Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Vessel Loss Dispatches For July 1998

1.] 2 July. U.S. Coast Guard seized 41 pounds of cocaine from M/V Friendly Express (Belize-registry). The vessel was sailing from Haiti to Miami when it ran out of fuel on 30 June. It was towed to the Miami anchorage by the USCGC Riga, where it was boarded by the Coast Guard and the U.S. Customs Service. The cocaine was found in a concealed compartment under the deck of a cargo hold;

2.] 5 July. M/T Captain X. Kyrinkou (Cypriot-registry) was damaged in heavy seas while sailing with diesel fuel from Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates, to South Africa. It called at Aden, Yemen, where damage was found to cable ducting on deck;

3.] 7 July. M/V Tiger Force (Maltese-registry 224 TEU ship of Bengal Tiger Line) sank at 08 degrees 03 minutes north, 79 degrees 00 minutes east. It was carrying containers from Colombo, Sri Lanka, to Tuticorin, India, and the crew was rescued;

4.] 9 July. F/V Hosei Maru, an 11-ton fishing vessel, collided with a whale on Tokyo Bay . Seven of 14 people aboard the vessel were injured including one who had a broken jaw;

5.] 9 July. M/T Seasalvia (Maltese- registry 88,396-dwt motor tanker) ran aground on sand near the Haydarpasa Breakwater in Turkey's Bosporus Strait. It is carrying crude oil from Novorossiysk, Russia, to Italy;

6.] 10 July. M/T Tadoussac (Canadian- registry ) has run aground 2.2 miles east of Peche Island near Windsor, Ontario. It is carrying coal;

7.] 13 July. M/V Rautz (Austrian-registry) sank at 35 degrees 05 minutes north, 09 degrees 31 minutes west, while sailing from Safi, Morocco, to Poland. Six crew were rescued & 4 are missing;

8.] 15 July. M/V Aida (Swedish-registry 52,288-gt ro/ro operated by Wallenius Lines) & M/T Golden Asia (Panamanian-registry.) collided east of Saeki, Japan, at 32 degrees 58 minutes north, 132 degrees 09 minutes east. Each had damage. The Aida was sailing from Mizushima, Japan, to Portugal, while the Golden Asia was en route from Kaohsiung, Taiwan, to Oita, Japan, with alcohol;

9.] 15 July. M/V Docelirio (Liberian-registry) ran aground at Mile 85.7 in Venezuela's Orinoco River. It was sailing to Trinidad with iron ore pellets;

10.] 15 July. M/V Nickerie (Dutch-registry motor refrigerated ship.) was taken in tow following engine problems. The ship will be taken to its destination of Vigo, Spain. It is carrying frozen fish;

11.] 27 July. M/V Lindarosa as flames raced through a cabin on a freighter in Genoa's harbor, killing 5 illegal immigrants who had stowed away on the ship. The ship had unloaded a shipment of cars from Tunisia. Frequent readers of this feature will note that it was a very quiet month!

Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Vessel Loss Dispatches For June 1998  

1 June tug Kaye C. Green sank 1 June in Albemarle Sound north of Dare County, N.C. The 4 crew were rescued by the tug Blackwell;

2 June S.S. J.A.W. Iglehart (9,460-gt, steam bulk carrier built in 1936) damaged "Sunset Joe's", a bar & grill in Cleveland, with its stern as it was aided by a tug of Great Lakes Towing Co. to the Huron Cement Dock. The ship was carrying cement from Bath, Ontario, and was docking in a storm. It suffered superficial damage but the bar was heavily damaged;

3 June Two Philippine crew of M/V Sea Star (Danish-cargo) are missing after the ship collided with the F/V Masayoshi Maru No. 8 (Japanese-fishing vessel) and sank in the Caribbean Sea off Colombia. The ship was sailing with 2,000 tons of cement from Barranquilla to Port-au-Prince, Haiti;

3 June M/V Canmar Endeavour (Bermudan- containership) suffered an engine room fire;

8 June. Security personnel in the Turks and Caicos Islands reportedly fired on a vessel carrying 100 Haitian migrants on 8 June and it later capsized, killing as many as 30. Unconfirmed reports state that the gunfire, meant as warning shots, hit the sloop. Six bodies have been recovered but they did not suffer gunshot wounds. Another report stated that the passengers crowded to one side of the vessel after hearing the gunfire, causing it to capsize;

8 June M/V P&O Nedlloyd Barcelona (German-registry containership) and M/V Yuan Ming (Chinese- operated by the Chinese government) collided in the Strait of Malacca. The containership, sailing from Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates, to Singapore, reached Singapore with a hole in its starboard hull, 4.9 feet above the waterline. The Yuan Ming anchored at Singapore with unknown damage. No injuries were reported;

8 June M/T Hamilton I (Panamanian) was disabled by fire at 34 degrees 37.1 minutes north, 15 degrees 08.4 minutes east, in the Mediterranean Sea. It was taken in tow by the Matsas Star (Greek- registry tug) to Piraeus, Greece. The ship was in ballast;

9 June. The chief engineer of M/V Agios Ioannis Theologos (Cypriot.) was killed when an air compressor aboard the ship exploded. The vessel was sailing from Richards Bay, South Africa, to Rotterdam, the Netherlands, when the explosion occurred 120 miles south of Portugal's Madeira Islands;

9 June. Three Pakistani Navy vessels took a half-submerged, unidentified tanker in tow for Karachi, Pakistan, after stopping an oil leak. The ship was spotted 3 June off Ormara, Pakistan, having been disabled the day before while sailing with 5,000 tons of heating oil from Bahrain to Mumbai, India. Oil spilling from the ship created an oil slick with a radius of up to 40 miles. The crew was rescued by M/V Kiran (Panamanian-registry) and the stricken tanker arrived in Karachi on 9 June. About 1,000 tons of oil remain aboard;

12 June M/V Alimad (Syrian-general cargo) capsized & sank at the anchorage at Mukalla, Yemen. All crew were rescued. The ship sailed from Gizan, Saudi Arabia, with 3,800 tons of bagged cement. There were no injuries. According to the Port of Mukalla, the Alimad anchored about 1,000 feet from the port to allow 2 other vessels to be worked. Less than three hours later, it had sunk;

13 June M/V Kuo Hsin (Panamanian-registry containership) & M/V Sea Ranger (Myanmar- containership) collided at Tanegashima, Japan. The Kuo Hsin was sailing from Keelung, Taiwan, to Tokuyama, Japan, with containers while the Sea Ranger was sailing from Tokyo to Hong Kong with containers. The Kuo Hsin suffered severe damage to its starboard hull including a leak from a damaged fuel tank. It returned to Keelung. The Sea Ranger had severe starboard hull plating damage, including around the forepeak tank. It sailed to Sasebo, Japan, on 14 June for temporary repairs;

13 June M/V Lidiya (Cambodian) had flooded & was abandoned 400 miles east of Wake Island in the Pacific Ocean. The 2 women & 2 men broadcast a distress message and activated an Emerding its No. 1 & 4 cargo holds, and anchored off England's Isle of Wight;

13 June, the 3 people aboard the 44-foot S/V Golly Gee gency Position Indicating Radio Beacon. A U.S. Coast Guard HC-130H Hercules from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii, located the four in a life raf and dropped a radio to them. Two hours later, they were rescued by M/V Strong Texan (U.S.-registry operated by Van Ommeren Shipping for the U.S. Military Sealift Command);

14 June. The 5 crew of M/V Silvery Sea are missing after it sank following a collision with M/V Merkur (German-general cargo) off western Denmark. An empty life raft & several pieces of debris were found;

16 June. M/V Aptmariner (Liberian- registry operated by COSCO (Hong Kong) Shipping Co. Ltd.) ran aground off St. Nicholas Island in the St. Lawrence Seaway near Montreal due to steering problems, while sailing from Klaipeda, Lithuania, to Cleveland and Detroit with steel coils and was re floated 18 June by the tugs Avantage, Andre H. &Jerry Newberry. The Aptmariner suffered forepeak damage and will be repaired at a cost of U.S.$409,000, using 30 tons of steel;

17 June M/T Bunga Tanjung (Malaysian.), maneuvering at a wharf in Keelung, Taiwan, collided with M/V Wei Fong No. 1 (Taiwanese-registry), which was loaded with limestone. The Wei Fong No. 1 sank at the wharf. There were no injuries;

18 June. A Polish Coast Guard vessel fired warning shots at the M/V West (Danish- registry cargo) near Swinoujscie, Poland, after it left port without necessary inspections. A subsequent boarding found the crew to be intoxicated, according to the Coast Guard. The vessel left port with the Coast Guard vessel giving chase, but did not stop despite radio & visual communications efforts as well as the firing of 10 green flares. Five warning shots from a deck gun were then fired and M/V West stopped. The West was escorted back to Swinoujscie for an inspection;

19 June M/V Atlantic Highway (Belize-registry operated by K Line.), leaving Malta Drydocks, collided with M/V Captain Zaman I (Panamanian-registry passenger ship) in Valletta, Malta. The passenger ship suffered unknown damage;

20 June M/V Paris (Cypriot-dry cargo ship) had an engine room fire sailing from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to Medway Ports in England and after the fire was extinguished, the Paris was towed to Sheerness, England, by the motor tug Lady Madeleine;

23 June M/V Stadt Cuxhaven (German-registry containership) collided with M/V Anina in Castries, St. Lucia. The Stadt Cuxhaven ran aground near facilities of Geest Industries (WI) Ltd. and was refloated with stern damage. The Anina sustained a large dent to its starboard bow;

26 June M/V Sunrana (Norwegian- registry) hit a barge near the new bridge across Copenhagen Sound in Denmark. The ship was holed on its port side above the waterline and sailed to Copenhagen for temporary repairs. The Sunrana was sailing from Rostock, Germany, to Tilbury, England, with bulk wheat.

26 June. M/V Diana- Maria (Antigua & Barbuda-registry) ran aground near La Marola Rock at Ria de Ares, Spain, while sailing from Blyth, England, to Ferrol, Spain, with 2,000 tons of scrap metal. Flooding was reported in the engine room and the 6 crew were rescued by a helicopter. On 29 June, work began to lighter 20 tons of fuel as the Diana-Maria continued to flood;

26 June. M/T Astro Gamma (Greek-registry 268,310-dwt tanker) suffered an engine room fire as it loaded fuel at Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The fire was extinguished by local firefighters and no one was injured. The Astro Gamma has 42 crew; x.] 26 June. The Chilean Navy's lead ship of the Condell (PG 06)-class frigate collided with the U.S. Military Sealift Command's Henry J. Kaiser-class Replenishment Oiler U.S.N.S. Pecos (T-AO 197) while operating 70 miles off California. No one was injured. The Condell was preparing to refuel from the U.S.N.S. Pecos when it apparently had steering problems;

28 June. M/V World Peace (Cypriot-registry) was abandoned at 11 degrees 26.8 minutes north, 62 degrees 51 minutes east after its No. 4 cargo hold flooded. The 21 crew abandoned ship & boarded M/T Maasstroom L (38,039-dwt motor tanker). The World Peace was sailing from Chennai, India, to Rotterdam, with marble and was last reportedly drifting at 2 knots west-southwest towards India;

29 June. M/V Woo Yang Honey (South Korean-registry) was abandoned at 23 degrees 00 minutes north, 116 degrees 35 minutes east after it began flooding. The 16 crew were rescued by another vessel and taken to Shantou, China, before the Woo Yang Honey sank;

29 June. S/V Rita Allah (Syrian-registry wooden vessel) was towed to Limassol, Cyprus, after drifting for days in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Two died of dehydration & were thrown overboard before the vessel was found. Some 115 people were aboard when it docked;

29 June. M/V Magdelan Sea (Canadian-registry offshore supply vessel) rescued 3 crew from a 30-foot S/V Swamba that had spent 25 hours drifting in a storm off Nova Scotia. The demasted Swamba was flooding in 16-foot seas;

29 June. M/T Katerina SG (Panamanian-registry) was disabled when the No. 5 piston in the main engine separated from the crankcase in an explosion. The vessel was left drifting at 03 degrees 30 minutes north, 87 degrees 42 minutes east. It had sailed from Port Klang, Malaysia, for Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, & Nacala, Mozambique, with palm oil;

Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Vessel Loss Dispatches For May 1998  

1 May, M/T Four Seas (Cayman Islands-registry) and M/V Tong Hai (Chinese-registry operated by COSCO Shanghai) ran aground in the Western Scheldt of the Netherlands while trying to avoid a collision following rudder damage to the Tong Hai;

4 May, Eighteen stowaways from Morocco were found in containers at the Port of Rotterdam. The men hit the walls of containers aboard M/V Rendsburg (German-registry containership) as the ship neared the port entrance. Local police listened outside 133 containers before finding all the men. Earlier during the ship's voyage, 32 stowaways were found during a call at Casablanca, Morocco;

4 May, M/V Spring Dream (ro/ro operated by Cool Carriers A.B.) has been towed to Cape Town, South Africa, by the John Ross (St. Vincent and the Grenadines-registry tug). The 25 crew abandoned the ship on 17 April after it caught fire about 104 miles west of Port Nolloth, South Africa. The crew boarded a fishing vessel after a fire that began in the generator room & spread to the rest of the ship. Damaged areas reportedly include the bridge;

5 May, the tug Towing Wizard (St. Vincent & the Grenadines) and M/V Anangel Honour (Greek-registry) collided just before 0100, seven miles east of Dover, England. The Towing Wizard was sailing from Tilbury, England, to the Black Sea and was badly damaged especially around the starboard bow. It towed to Dover and 4 crew were hospitalized. The empty Anangel Honour has severe port side damage including a large gash that breached the hull;

5 May, - Military cargo - 4 crew of the Royal Australian Navy's Underway Replenishment Ship H.M.A.S. Westralia (O 195) were killed & another 9 were injured in a fire during a naval exercise near Rottnest Island, Western Australia. The engine room fire began and spread through a lower deck of the ship while a ruptured fuel line was being repaired. The vessel lost power soon after and the fire took 1.5 hours to extinguish. The dead were 3 men & 1 woman. H.M.A.S. Westralia is home ported at Fremantle, Australia;

6 May, Nine people are missing after a fishing vessel capsized following a collision with M/V Vishva Parimal (Indian- registry dry cargo ship) in the East China Sea at 1900 hrs.. The fishing vessel, with a crew of 11, flooded about 81 miles off Cheju Island (Ed: one of the most beautiful places on earth), South Korea. Two crew were rescued. Vishva Parimal was sailing from India to Busan, South Korea;

7 May, Twelve bodies have been found near Sabah, Malaysia, & at least one has been identified as crew of M/V Virgin Pearl (Philippine-registry). The vessel sank 4 April near Balut Island, Philippines, after rough seas damaged the ship & it lost power It had been reported that all 24 people aboard, including the 15 crew, were rescued by M/V Chongket. That report is now seriously questioned. The Virgin Pearl was sailing from Manado, Indonesia, to Davao.

14 May M/V Star B (Cypriot-dry cargo ship) attempted to lift & secure a lifeboat after a drill that had just been conducted by personnel of the U.S. Coast Guard's Marine Safety Office in Charleston, S.C. The Coast Guard personnel went inside the ship when the lifeboat fell and 5 of the ship's crew fell with it. One person was killed;

23 May M/V Caytrans Caribe (Belize-dry cargo) was reported flooding at 15 degrees 28.4 minutes north, 72 degrees 30.2 minutes west. At last report, it had a list of 45 degrees;

31 May M/V Bunga Orkid Tiga (Malaysian-registry) collided with M/V Kargem (Turkish-registry) off Kirecburnu, Turkey, in the Bosporus Strait. Both vessels were damaged and conditions included heavy fog.

Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Vessel Loss Dispatches For April 1998

1 April an unidentified cargo/passenger vessel carrying about 300 people capsized in rough seas off S.E. Nigeria on 1 April while sailing to Gabon. Only 20 people are confirmed to have survived & only a few bodies have been found. The vessel capsized in the Bight of Bonny off the Nigerian state of Akwa Ibom;

2 April an unidentified vessel carrying recruits of the Sudanese Army capsized in the Blue Nile near Khartoum, Sudan; 54 people were killed and 260 are missing;

2 April M/T Enerchem Refiner (Canadian-registry) ran aground in St. Lawrence Seaway, S.W. of Hamilton Island and E. of Stanely Island. Damages to cargo are not known;

4 April M/V Virgin Pearl (Philippine-registry) sank near Balut Island, the Philippines. All 24 people aboard, including the 15 crew, were rescued;

4 April M/V Vytegra (Russian-registry) caught fire north of Copenhagen, Denmark. The fire was extinguished and the ship was towed to Copenhagen. The fire reportedly began in the engine room after the ship took on 35 tons of diesel fuel and spread to the accommodations & the bridge;

8 April M/V Gerda (German-registry containership) ran aground off Kotka, Finland, in heavy fog while sailing with containers from Helsinki, Finland. The ship was refloated & towed to Kotka. The ship's bow was holed over 13 feet. Four empty containers were lost overboard;

10 April M/T Matsukaze (Panamanian-registry tanker.) and M/T Lilac Princess (Panamanian- registry liquefied petroleum gas carrier) collided outside Hong Kong. The Matsukaze was seriously damaged & spilled part of its cargo of vegetable oil. The Lilac Princess had minor damage, was carrying butane & liquefied petroleum gas to Zhuhai, China & has resumed its voyage. The master of the Lilac Princess is missing;

13 April M/V Hua Ting (Chinese-registry operated by COSCO Tianjin) had an engine room fire in the Philippines;

11 April M/V Chian Mariner (Liberian-registry.) sank about 160 miles off Angola. All 25 crew safely abandoned the ship & were rescued by M/V Ataraxia;

15 April M/V Paris (Cypriot-registry) and F/V Marco (Belgian-registry trawler) collided in the Strait of Dover. Damages are not reported;

16 April M/V Lyn (Danish-registry) developed a list and was abandoned off N.W. Spain;

17 April M/V Karina (German-registry containership) and M/V Maham (Syrian- registry) collided in a storm while at Tartus, Syria. The Maham's bridge was seriously damaged;

17 April M/T Koriana (Greek-registry.) collided with the moored M/T Jose do Patrocinio (Brazilian-registry tanker) at Asry, Bahrain;

17 April M/V Togo Beauty and M/V Western Team (Panamanian- registry) collided in Gatun Lake on the Panama Canal. Both have bow damage. The extent of cargo damage is unknown.

18 April, 2 crew of M/V Sea-Land Mariner (Marshall Island-registry containership) were injured on 18 April after an explosion in a container ignited a fire that burned for 10 hours. The ship was 130 miles southwest of Crete in Greece when the fire began. One person was rescued from the water by a Swedish vessel and taken to the U.S. Navy's lead ship of the U.S.S. Wasp (LHD 1)-class Helicopter/Dock Landing Ship;

18 April, M/T Nissho Maru (Japanese-registry motor chemical tanker) & M/V Yamkuni Maru No. 3 (Japanese-registry) collided in Japan's Inland Sea. The latter suffered damage to its starboard side near the engine room has well as 3 cargo hold fractures. The ship took on water and was towed to Yanai, Japan. The Nissho Maru had minor damage;

19 April, Sri Lanka Navy vessels attacked vessels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam early 19 April off northeastern Sri Lanka, sinking at least five. At least 10 LTTE members were killed near Trincomalee;

21 April, M/V Koznitsa (Bulgarian-registry) grounded in Rosario and was then hit by a barge, causing substantial starboard hull damage;

21 April, containership M/V Heng Hoi 308 and an oil tanker, collided in Hong Kong on 21 April. Both vessels were Chinese. Three Chinese crew were injured. The collision was southwest of Tsing Yi Island in the New Territories. The tanker was not seriously damaged but the containership began flooding;

21 April, M/V Koon Hong 211 (Chinese-registry containership) sank off Hong Kong. Five beaches were closed as one of 17 containers aboard the ship contained ammonium chloride. The ship was anchored off Tuen Mun opposite Butterfly Beach, southwest of Tsing Yi Island in the New Territories. Five local beaches (Butterfly, Cafeteria Old, Cafeteria New, Golden & Kadoorie) were sealed. Of the other 16 containers, 13 had batteries and 3 had metal items. Nine of 17 have been recovered but not the one containing the ammonium chloride;

23 April, M/V Sirius (Belize-registry) capsized & sank following a collision with M/V Yushin Maru No. 8 (Japanese-registry) off Kitakyushu, Japan;

24 April, an 11-mile section of the Mississippi River south of St. Louis was closed after 137 barges broke their moorings. The section reopened at 1530

25 April. One barge carrying grain sank but the rest were recovered. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, about 24 barges broke free at a fleeting area near an Anheuser-Busch facility in St. Louis. As they floated downstream, they hit barges in other fleeting areas and caused the others to break free;

25 April, M/T Tom Elba (Portuguese-registry chemical tanker) and M/T Helle Wonsild (Danish-registry) collided in the Skagerrak Strait. The Tom Elba suffered minimal damage but the Helle Wonsild was holed in a fuel tank and sailed to Skagen, Denmark.

25 April, M/V Rema (Belize-registry) sent out a distress message in the North Sea while sailing with 930 tons of redstone from Berwick-on-Tweed, England, to the Netherlands with a crew of five. A search of the area by the British Coast Guard found a capsized lifeboat & a small petroleum slick. The Trinity House Lighthouse Service said this week it has found a shipwreck it believes to be the Rema;

27 April, M/V Marine Ranger (Liberian-registry) and M/V North Countess (Greek-registry) collided south of Flores Island near Montevideo, Uruguay. Damage is not known. The Marine Ranger was sailing to Buenos Aires, while North Countess was sailing from San Pedro, Argentina, to Necochea, Argentina.

27 April, M/V Heung-A Tokyo (South Korean-registry containership) and M/T Sun Duke (Panamanian-registry) collided off Japan on 27 April. The Heung-A Tokyo was sailing from Shimizu, Japan, to Ulsan, South Korea, and the Sun Duke was sailing from China to Tobata, Japan, with coal tar;

27 April, two crew of M/V Natalemar were reported missing in the southern Ionian Sea. The Syrian citizens disappeared at 0400 when the ship was near Greece's Strofades Islands. Two life jackets are also missing;

29 April, a North Korean- registry cargo vessel sank in the Yellow Sea after it collided with M/V Yang Lin (Chinese-registry 13,635-dwt dry cargo ship operated by COSCO Guangzhou). One crew is missing and 2 were injured;

29 April, M/V San Clemente (Liberian-registry containership) ran aground at the access channel to a COSIPA terminal in Santos, Brazil;

30 April, the Bagmati River ferry capsized near Burawghat, India, killing about 25 people and leaving 30 missing;

Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Special Article From The Cargo Letter For April 1998

M/V Star II Limassol - A Sweet Killer.............. as a massive spill of brown sugar from the Cypriot cargo ship M/V Star II Limassol, damaged when it ran aground earlier this month, may be responsible for the deaths of thousands of fish in Kingston Harbor. Scientists suspect the sugar may have altered oxygen levels in the harbor, suffocating fish, crabs & lobsters now washing up on shore, Environment Minister Easton Douglas said. The vessel dumped tons of brown sugar as it was being towed into the harbor on April 15, a week after running aground off Jamaica's east coast. Biologists from the University of the West Indies & the Port Royal Marine Laboratory were still exploring other possible causes of the fish die off, including a chemical leak unrelated to the cargo ship. Officials are waiting for more tests before deciding whether to pursue charges against the ship's crew. The dangers of brown sugar are well known.
Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Vessel Loss Dispatches For March 1998

1 March. M/V Algosoo (Canadian) as fire damaged the ship's self-unloading equipment beneath its cargo holds. The ship was moored at Welland, Ontario;

3 March. the tug Seagull sank 53 miles east of Assateague, Va. The tug Caicos Sound rescued the 2 crew, but that tug, with a crew of 5, suffered a propulsion failure. The two were sailing to Jacksonville, FL. Weather included seas up to 6 feet & winds of up to 30 knots;

4 March. M/V Alga (Russian-registry) sank while berthed at Nakhodka, Russia. The Alga had just completed loading of timber when it rolled onto its port side;

6 March. M/V Canopus I (Cypriot general cargo ship) ran aground off Longstone Island, England. Cargo containers were undamaged;

6 March. All 5 crew of the Argentine-registry tug Itacuru were killed after a collision with M/V Las Bolinas (Panamanian- registry) in the Emilio Mitre Channel of the Plate River in Argentina. The tug was towing a barge that later ran aground;

8 March. tug Bellmont sank 205 miles east of Great Inagua, the Bahamas. M/V Solaro rescued the 4 crew & took them to Trinidad;

8 March. Yacht Yuyu sank at 0330 8 March off Kushimoto, Japan, after it was in a collision with M/T Koshin Maru (chemical tanker). The 3 crew, including a British citizen who was the master, were rescued in the 40 minutes after the collision; .

8 March. M/T Regents Park (Liberian.) dragged anchor in high winds & collided with the anchored M/T Yan Shui Hu (Liberian operated by COSCO Dalian Ocean Shipping Co.) off Galveston, Texas.;

10 March. M/V Golden Union (Maltese, motor dry cargo ship) lost power after its engine room flooded and the ship began sinking 4 miles S. South Africa. It was sailing from Karachi, Pakistan, to western Africa with rice. The 33 crewmembers were rescued by 2 So. African Air Force helicopters. On 11 March, the M/V John Ross (St. Vincent) towed the ship further from shore to prevent it from running aground. Heavy weather was in the area but at last report, a decision had not been made on the ship's fate. The Golden Union was last reported 20 miles south of Umzimbuvu;

10 March. M/T Nadym (Cypriot), sailing from Pusan, South Korea, to Magadan, Russia, with 15,000 tons of fuel, was driven aground by ice at Cape Alevia, Russia. The ship grounded on rocks and has a holed ballast tank.

10 March. M/V Golden Challenger (Panamanian-registry), sailing in ballast from Venezuela to New Orleans, had an engine room fire in the Caribbean Sea;

12 March. Pirates attempted to board M/V Nam Dhiem, a Vietnamese ship, near Cilegon, Indonesia. A 28-year-old crewmember was shot in the stomach during the attempt;

14 March. M/V Continental Beta (Maltese-registry containership) & the passenger ferry Suadiye collided in Turkey's Bosporus Strait. There was heavy damage;

15 March. M/V Nafto Cement Two (St. Vincent-registry) and M/V Paros (Maltese-registry) collided in Timsah Lake, at the northern end of Great Bitter Lake, which forms part of the Suez Canal in Egypt. A sandstorm limited visibility;

15 March. Bass River (U.S.-registry offshore supply vessel.) sank after colliding with the offshore supply vessel C. Captain of Alpha Marine 10 miles southwest of Grand Isle, La. Of the 7 crew, 3 are missing;

16 March. M/V Baltic Carrier (German-registry) was in a collision with M/V Flinterdam (Dutch-registry) in the Kiel Canal near Breiholz, Germany. The Baltic Carrier suffered a large hole and partially sank by the stern; 9.] 17 March M/V Amer Prabha (Cypriot-registry) suffers an engine room explosion at a river pier south of Bangkok, Thailand, killing 3 Indian citizens. The blast occurred in the generator area of the ship while it was loading rice for Nigeria;

20 March. M/V Agat (Cypriot-registry) ran aground at Mollegrunden;

23 March. M/V Demetrios 2 (Honduran-registry) ran aground on rocks 1,640 feet off western Cyprus in rough seas. The grounding was west of the Paphos Lighthouse. All 8 crew were rescued by a Wessex HC series helicopter of the British Royal Air Force;

21 March. M/T Xin Tong (Chinese-registry) M/V MSC Houston (Liberian-registry 42,323-gt, containership built in 1994) were in a collision at the Hong Kong harbor limits. The Xin Tong took on water in its engine room and was assisted by tugs while the MSC Houston, which had minor damage, anchored;

26 March. M/T El Bravo (St. Vincent) and M/T Shauadar (Panamanian-registr) collided in Matanzas Bay, Cuba. The El Bravo's hull was holed & the ship spilled some of its cargo of crude oil, which it loaded in Cuba. The Cuban government has formed a special commission to investigate the collision;

Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Special Article From The Cargo Letter For March 1998

The Bosporus - A Dangerous Seaway ......... major accidents in Bosporus over last two decades include:
* Feb. 2, 1995: Ferry & passenger motorboat collide, injuring 8.

* March 13, 1994: Cypriot tanker collides with empty Cypriot freighter at Black Sea entrance, causing several explosions & huge fire. Twenty-nine crew die; nearly 100,000 barrels of oil spill. Waterway closed six days.

* Nov. 14, 1991: Lebanese-flagged freighter carrying livestock collides with Philippines ship. Five crew die; 21,000 sheep perish.

* March 29, 1990: Chinese freighter holding 12.5 million gallons of gasoline collides with Iraqi tanker. More than 500,000 gallons of gas spill.

* Nov. 28, 1988: Panama-registered tanker carrying 2,200 tons of liquid ammonia collides with empty Turkish tanker in bad weather, allowing toxic ammonia vapors to vent into the air.

* Sept. 24, 1985: Turkish warship splits in two after colliding with Soviet navy ship in heavy fog.

* Dec. 15, 1979: Romanian tanker & Greek ship collide, setting off explosions that kill 43 sailors & shatter windows along shore. Nearly 700,000 barrels of oil spill & burn for days, causing widespread panic.

* 14 March 1998: M/V Continental Beta (Maltese-registry containership) & the passenger ferry Suadiye collided in Turkey's Bosporus Strait. No one was injured but there was damage.

Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Vessel Loss Dispatches For February 1998

2 Feb. M/V Delfin del Mediterraneo (Spanish container ship) capsized & sank 248 miles off Cabo San Vincente, Portugal.  Thirteen crew were rescued from 3 lifeboats by Spanish government personnel. Chief Engr. Angel Gomez was killed;

2 Feb. M/V Dogruyollar IV (Turkish general cargo) sank 30 miles S.E. of Cape Carbonara, Sardinia, Italy. The 11 crew were rescued;   

4 Feb. M/V Bushey (Equitorial Guinea) is being held for ransom off Somalia by PIRATES. A group of about 20 heavily armed pirates forced their way onto the ship as it sailed off the country by firing across its bow from a speedboat.  The Bushey was sailing with salt between Masawa, Eritrea, & Mombasa, Kenya; 

4 Feb. M/V Malabo (Belize) took on water in its engine room. The flooding was barely controlled and the ship sailed to Brest, France;  

5 Feb. M/V Antelope (Honduran), sailing from Shimizu, Japan, to South Korea w/ aluminum coils, capsized & sank south of Cape Irago, Japan, in a storm. Of the crew, 6 were rescued & 2 are missing.  However, 3 of the 6 later died;  

7 Feb. M/V Agan (Russian dry cargo ship) sank 100 miles off Ulung Do, South Korea. It was carrying scrap from Nakhodka, Russia, to Masan, South Korea. Four crew were killed;   

7 Feb. M/V Jade Sea (China, Qingdao Ocean Shipping Co) of 30 crew in S. China Sea. The vessel was 30,000 tons;  

7 Feb. M/V Fei Cui Hai (Chinese COSCO Bulk Carrier Co. Ltd.) sank off southern Vietnam with 34 dead & 2 missing;

10 Feb. the tug Aiu (Canadian-registry) sank 10 off Comox Bar, British Columbia;

11 Feb. M/V Hanjin Barcelona ran down & sank the processing vessel F/V Alaska off Alaska in calm seas with clear viability.  All 33 crew were rescued.  There will be an inquiry.

13 Feb. M/V Leona I (Liberian) sank at a pier in Dakar, Senegal, after a collision with the M/V Caro;

1 Feb. M/V Agan (Russian) sank 40 miles north of Ullung-do Island, South Korea, carrying scrap from Nakhodka, Russia, to Masan, South Korea. Four Russian crew were killed, 11 others were rescued. The Agan sent a distress message stating it was flooding in a cargo hold and 4 vessels responded. An icebreaker took the survivors and the 4 bodies to Vladivostok, Russia;

14 Feb. M/V Begi (Belize) broke its moorings in Poti, Georgia, and drifted into the Black Sea during a storm. It later sank and the 5 crew are missing;

15 Feb. the tug Elizabeth S. (133-gt tug built in 1944) sank on 15 Feb. near New Orleans during a storm. The Samson (115.2-foot tug operated by Crowley Marine Services Inc.) ran aground near New Orleans at East Bell Pass the same day.

15 Feb. M/V Manzur, carrying calcium oxide & other chemicals, caught fire in the Gulf of Mexico. The ship reached the S.W. Pass of the Mississippi River the next day, by which time the fire was contained;

16 Feb. the barge Cherokee hit the offshore petroleum platform West Delta 106 in the Gulf of Mexico at 1345 and both caught fire

17 Feb. M/V Green Wave (U.S.-registry 507.12-foot dry cargo ship) had a crankcase explosion 256 miles off New Zealand. The ship was sailing from McMurdo Station, Antarctica, to Christchurch, New Zealand. The U.S. Coast Guard's lead ship of the U.S.C.G.C. Polar Star (WAGB 10)-class icebreaker, which was sailing to Melbourne, Australia, after 3 months operating around Antarctica, responded & took Green Wave in tow. The Green Wave is chartered by the U.S. Military Sealift Command from Central Gulf Lines Inc.;

17 Feb. M/V Marie Bouanga (Congolese, operated by Europea rvices Agency) collided with M/T Zircone (Italian) off the Netherlands. The Marie Bouanga was sailing from St. Petersburg, Russia, to Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The Zircone was sailing to Rotterdam with caustic soda, gasoline, kerosene and methlyine chloride. The Marie Bouanga was towed by Eemshaven, the Netherlands. One of its crew is missing and the ship has severe damage;

17 Feb. M/V Shine (Honduran) sank in rough seas, about 16 miles east-northeast of Iki, Japan. Four crew were rescued and 1 was killed. A fishing vessel rescued the 4 South Korean citizens but the 5th, Engineer Kim Chong Kun, 62, of South Korea, was found dead. The Shine was sailing from South Lorea to Uwajima, Japan;

18 Feb. M/T Conquestventure L (Liberian-registry tanker) hit a submerged object near Robben Island in South Africa's Table Bay. Liquid caustic soda spilled into the water from 2 cargo tanks for 2 hours. The tanker was sailing from the United States to Cape Town, South Africa;

21 Feb. M/V Scot Trader (Bahamian dry cargo ship.) ran aground in the Humber River off Brough, England, on 21 Feb. and developed a 50-degree list. The crew evacuated and the cargo of timber was lightered to barges to enable refloating of the ship the next day.

22 Feb. M/T Hekabe (Bermudan tanker), carrying ammonia, lost power 101 miles south of Amchitka, Alaska. Two of the 35 crew were injured when a cylinder head exploded, disabling propulsion. Weather conditions included winds of 50 knots gusting to 75 & 40-foot seas. Repairs were made and the ship sailed to Dutch Harbor, Alaska. The injured crew were airlifted to Anchorage, Alaska, by U.S. Coast Guard;

22 Feb. M/V Adria (Romanian motor dry cargo ship) caught fire 50 miles of Casablanca, Morocco, sailing from Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, to Ravenna, Italy, with general cargo including baled cotton. The fire followed an explosion in the engine room. Three crew were killed and 13 were rescued. The ship was last reported adrift & still on fire;

25 Feb. M/V Eagle Memphis (Malaysian 53,483-gt, motor tanker) and M/T Oriental Violet (Panamanian-motor tanker) collided 20 miles northwest of the U.K.'s Guernsey Island in the English Channel. The Eagle Memphis was in ballast and sustained a holed port ballast tank;

25 Feb. M/V Laura (Noumea motor general cargo ship) sank in the Arafura Sea, N.E. of Darwin, Australia. All 11 crewmembers were rescued by the Royal Australian Navy's Fremantle-class Patrol Boat H.M.A.S. Wollongong;

26 Feb. the tug Florida Seashore sank in 38 feet of water, three miles south of the channel in Houma, LA;

27 Feb. M/V Ulsund (Norwegian motor general cargo ship) sank 16 miles off Lista, Norway. Of the 7 crew, 2 were killed & 5 are missing. Weather conditions included gale force winds. Two empty lifeboats and other debris was found. A distress call made at 2030 said the ship was flooding with a list to port;

Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Special Articles From The Cargo Letter For February 1998

***Recent Pirate Incidents ........ as Bulgarian owners of M/V Alfa BG (Belize-formerly the Mona C.) have agreed to pay ransom for the 11 crew as well as the 22 crew of a Syrian-affiliated vessel. Both were seized by pirates off Somalia on 13 Jan. by about 25 armed men. Reportedly, the Syrian vessel was towing the Alfa BG when it lost power.

On 27 Jan., it was reported that the M/T Clipper Sea (Norwegian) was boarded by two pirates approaching Dakar, Senegal, at 2355 hrs. 19 Dec. They jumped onto the stern by using grappling hooks and climbing over the transom. One then jumped overboard with the end of the mooring line coiled on the deck. The second, who held crewmembers at knife point, cut the line & leaped overboard as well.

M/V Meridian Spica (Malaysian.) was boarded by pirates, 28 Jan. while at Cigading, Indonesia. They stole parts from an engine room storage area.

***Washington State Ferries Crewmember Missing ........... as a crewmember of M/V Tacoma (1,400-dwt ferry built in 1997, operated by Washington State Ferries) fell overboard the night of 18 Feb. in Puget Sound as the vessel sailed to Winslow on Bainbridge Island, Wash. Steven Brown, 41, of Redmond, was reported overboard about 2000 hrs, 2 miles from Seattle off Alki Point. The Tacoma turned around to search for the man until U.S. Coast Guard air & sea units arrived along with vessels & aircraft of the Bainbridge Island Police Dept. & the Seattle Fire Dept.. Three passengers reported hearing someone in the water and one saw a light. The man had worked for Washington State Ferries since May as an "on-call" able bodied seaman. Brown was last seen near the 2nd mate's office on the main passenger deck. Washington State Ferries has moved to formally convene a board of investigation to probe the circumstances surrounding the apparent drowning death of this crew member of the ferry M/V Tacoma.

Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Vessel Loss Dispatches For January 1998

1 Jan. M/T Lancer (Bahamian-23,093-dwt chemical tanker) had an explosion aboard shortly after departing Campana, Argentina. The crew abandoned the ship but 2 were killed and 6 are missing;

1 Jan. M/V Oak (Bahamian) was reported listing & adrift with 13 people aboard, as a Beaufort Force 10 storm approached. The Oak has stabilized with a 6-degree list;

4 Jan. 17 crew of M/V Amanah were rescued by helicopters after the ship ran aground off Keelung, Taiwan; .] 8 Jan. M/V Filomena Lembo (Italian) had an engine room fire in the Black Sea. It has been extinguished but damage is unknown;

4 Jan. Two containerships have received damage after they collided at Felixstowe, UK. M/V Newark Bay (U.S.-registry 59,810-dwt, Sea-Land Service) hit the M/V MSC Insa (Mediterranean Shipping) after bad weather parted tow lines to the Newark Bay as it was berthing. The MSC Insa, already at a berth, was pushed into a mud bank. No containers were OUTWARDLY damaged.

9 Jan. PIRATES attacked the M/T Isomeria (British operated byShell) at the Port of Santos, Brazil. Two crew, both British citizens, were shot by Uzi weilding PIRATES while propane at a terminal of Petroleos Brasileiros S.A.;   

11 Jan. M/T Timoan (Honduran) was captured by PIRATES who beat up the crew, smashed communication equipment, stole cash & personal effects & transferred about a 1/3 of the ship's 3m litre cargo of gasoline to another, unidentified tanker off the Malaysian coast near Pulau Auro. It lasted about15 hours.  The crew were bound & had their eyes covered with tape. The Tioman had been on a voyage from Singapore to Thailand; 

13 Jan. M/V Altnes (St. Vincent & the Grenadines) capsized & sank after it collided with M/V Shannon (Cypriot.) in heavy fog east of Anholt Island, Denmark.  Visibility was 1,200 feet.  The 17 crew were rescued by M/V Shannon & brought ashore;   

15 Jan. M/V New Baron (Panamanian operated by Cho Yang), sailing from Okgae, South Korea, to Lae, Papua New Guniea, ran aground on rocks in strong winds & heavy seas and later sank. Two Philippine crew  were killed &18 are missing, including the Master;   

15 Jan. M/V Sunny Glory (Belize) ran aground leaving the Port of Kashima, Japan. The ship took a starboard list near a breakwater & almost capsized, with most of its superstructure submerged.  Two crew are missing;

16 Jan. M/V Flare (Cypriot) broke-up & sank. in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. A Canadian government helicopter rescued 4 crew from a capsized lifeboat but 15 others were killed and 6 are missing.  

18 Jan. M/V Agios Pantaleinos (Honduras) sank 28 miles south west of Sardinia Island with a cargo of ammonium solphite.  The cause was a shift of cargo due to very bad sea conditions.  Of the 9 crew, only 2 have been rescued by Italian coast guard helicopters;   

20 Jan. M/T Dae Won (South Korean) had an explosion & fire in its No.1 cargo tank while anchored at Ulsan, South Korea.  The crew was cleaning the ship's tanks. Four people were rescued, 3 were killed and 1 is missing.   

28 Jan., a search for M/V Universe 808 (Belize) after it failed to arrive at Yokkaichi, Japan.  The ship left Kawasaki, Japan 27 Jan. rive at Yokkaichi to load cargo including polystyrene before sailing to China.  The vessel & all hands are presumed lost; 

29 Jan. M/T Yu Hwa 2 (Panamanian liquefied petroleum gas carrier), sank while sailing from Pusan, South Korea, to Yosu, South Korea, with butadiene.  Eight of the crew were rescued & 1 is missing;  

30 Jan. M/V Kirre (Estonian-registry) sailing from Riga, Latvia, to Seaham, England, with timber, had a cargo shift in high winds & rough seas  off Klaipeda, Lithuania.  The Kirre had a 10-degree starboard list and 40% of its cargo was dumped overboard;  

Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Special Articles From The Cargo Letter For January 1998

***London Reports 1997 Losses ......... as fewer seafarers lost their lives last year compared to 1996, according latest reports from the Institute of London Underwriters (ILU). Figures show a marked fall in the number of fatalities among crew serving on ships of over 500 gt, from 1,190 in 1996 to 263 last year. There were also fewer total losses last year. As of the end of Dec., 89 ships had been posted as total losses, compared to a comparable figure for 1996 of 105. Although fewer ships were lost last year, the total tonnage involved was up, 739,164 gt against 653,775 gt by the end of 1996. Fifty-one crew were killed and 30 injured aboard vessels during PIRATE attacks last year, according to the Int'l Maritime Bureau. In its annual report of piracy, released 19 Jan., the Bureau said that there were 229 PIRATE attacks aboard ships last year.

***Aft Section of M/V MSC Carla Heads To Breakers ........ as what remains of the Panamanian-registry 55,241-gt, 40,912-dwt, 2,868-TEU motor containership built in 1972 at Landskrona, Sweden; operated by Mediterranean Shipping Co. has left Las Palmas in Spain's Canary Islands under tow for demolition in No. Spain. The ship broke into 2 pieces on early 25 Nov. during a storm 110 miles north of Sao Miguel Island in Portugal's Azores Islands. The ship broadcast a message late 24 Nov. that its rudder had failed and 2 Portuguese military helicopters rescued all 34 crew from the aft section. The M/V MSC Carla's stern was taken in tow by the tug Fotiy Krylo. The forward section, with as many as 1,200 CTNRs aboard, sank 30 Nov. The MSC Carla was sailing from Le Havre, France, to Boston with 2,400 CTNRs. See the disaster at our Gallery of Cargo Loss - CLICK HERE

***Mystery Of The Missing Cargo Ships ............ as The International Maritime Bureau (IMB), a London-based specialist agency of the Int'l Chamber of Commerce, is concerned that a number of ships have disappeared along with their cargo in recent months. IMB Dir. P. Mukundan said there was "reason to believe" the ships had ended up in China. Among vessels IMB is tracking are M/V Chosun Hope, with 9,000 tons of jute from Bangladesh for Brazil & M/V Okavango, with 5,000 tons of urea from Indonesia for Vietnam. PIRATES !

Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Vessel Casualties - 1997

Vessel Loss Dispatches For December 1997

2 Dec. M/T Flanders Gloria (Liberian) collided with M/T Mundogas Orinoco (COSCO.) near Kaohsiung, Taiwan;

3 Dec. Four people were injured, 2 seriously, after a fire inside a cargo tank aboard M/T Mosqueen (Bahamian VLCC) off Dubai, UAE;

4 Dec. M/V St. Jude Express (Belize dry cargo ship) caught fire & later had an explosion off E. Cuba. The ship drifted and the 7 crew were rescued by M/V Bremen Senator (46,490-dwt containership);

7 Dec. M/V Celtic Warrior sunk after a collision with M/V Anagret off Greece. Details are few, but there are no reports of lives lost. HMS Invincible is on scene.

3 Dec. M/V Promex Cita (11,599-dwt) sank off Ly Son Island, Vietnam. The ship was carrying granite floor tiles from China to Indone r the damage, the ship sailed towards the Vietnamese coast before it sank in 100 feet of water;

7 Dec. M/V Celtic Warrior sunk after a collision with M/V Anagret off Greece. Details are few, but there are no reports of lives lost. HMS Invincible is on scene.

7 Dec. M/V Celtic Warrior (Bahamian) sank off Cape Sounion on Agios Georgios Island, Greece. The ship had collided with the M/V Annegret. The 9 crew of the Celtic Warrior, all Polish citizens, were rescued by the Annegret. Celtic Warrior remained afloat 5 hours. Several containers were reported floating in the area after the ship sank;

7 Dec. M/V Megane (St. Vincent), carrying timber, sank in a storm 80 miles off Sicily, Italy. The master & 12 crew were rescued from 2 lifeboats;

9 Dec. M/V Kashi Maru No. 8 and M/V Settsu Maru No. 5 collided off Japan's Izu Peninsula. The Kashi Maru No. 8 subsequently drifted and sank near Higashiizu, Japan, as the result of heavy damage on its port side amidships. Some of the ship's fuel spilled. Each ship had 5 crew but no one was injured.

12 Dec. M/V Buffalo (11,619-gt, American Steamship Co.) struck the Detroit River Lighthouse in Michigan, causing the bow to be crushed in, extending from below its anchors to below the waterline. The ship took on water but was allowed to proceed to Toledo Shipyard. Weather conditions included clear visibility with seas up to 3 feet. The lighthouse's stone foundation had minor damage;

13 Dec. M/V Equator Joy (Singaporean- general cargo ship) was abandoned at 03 degrees 12 minutes north, 108 degrees 56 minutes east, after it began sinking. The 18 crew were rescued and taken to Singapore;

13 Dec. Belgium has arrested the master of M/V Ocean Transporter (Turkish-registry), which collided with F/V Noble Art (French- registry) off Brittany. The Noble Art sank 4 hours after the collision and the Ocean Transporter ignored a French order to return to assist, saying that it was carrying urgent cargo. The Ocean Transporter sailed to Ghent, Belgium, where the ship arrived 16 Dec. and unloaded Brazilian soya;

14 Dec. M/V Canadian Explorer and M/V Island Skipper (Greek-registry 28,479-dwt) collided about midnight arnois Locks in the St. Lawrence Seaway. Aboard the Canadian Explorer, two vents, two lights & the gangway were destroyed and several ribs were bent. The Island Skipper, following the collision, hit the bullnose of a dock and suffered damage that included holing to its No. 2 cargo hold.

16 Dec. M/V Gonave Express (Belize) sank 55 miles southeast of Miami, in a storm. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter rescued the crew in 10-foot seas. The ship broadcast a distress call at 0200 after it lost propulsion and began to flood;

16 Dec. A fire aboard M/V Slanic (Romanian-cargo ship.) in a floating dock at Constanta, Romania, has destroyed most of its superstructure. Damage its estimated to be at least US$500,000;

16 Dec. Eight vessels are sunk or aground in Apra Harbor, Guam, following Super Typhoon Paka;

17 Dec. M/T Orange Star (Norwegian-registry 18,302-gt) ran aground near the Yenikoy area of Istanbul, Turkey. The Bosporus Strait was closed to allow for refloating;

19 Dec. M/V Venice (Honduran-wooden freighter) caught fire at an anchorage in Port Everglades, Fla. The Florida Marine Patrol rescued all 6 crew. The Venice drifted and came ashore, where the fire was extinguished by personnel and equipment from U.S. Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale;

20 Dec. M/V S. Ugurlu (Turkish-general cargo), sank sailing from Thessaloniki, Greece, to Venice, Italy, when it ran aground and sank off Kimi, Greece. Eleven of the 12 crew were rescued;

20 Dec. M/V Kukawa (British containership.) caught fire in the English Channel. The fire began in the engine room but spread. Ten of 33 crew were taken by helicopter to M/V Triton Diamond (Panamanian) but the remainder stayed aboard to fight the fire with 26 British & 2 French firefighters;

20 Dec. M/V Anjana (Bahamian-registry) is believed sunk south of Norway after the ship began flooding and took on a heavy list. The crew of 12 was rescued by air;

20 Dec. M/V Lass Sun (German) sank after colliding with M/V Valentin Pikul (Ru Skagerrak Strait between Denmark & Norway. The Lass Sun's master was killed while its 5 other crew were rescued by the Valentin Pikulye;

21 Dec. M/V MSC Rita (Mediterranean Shipping Co.) arrived in Boston with damage to 4 cargo hatches & 4 hazardous materials incidents due to cargo damage. One hatch aft of the superstructure reportedly toppled onto the deck. About 60 containers were lost overboard;

23 Dec. M/V Lotus Islands (Panamanian-registry 15,175-dwt dry cargo) broadcast a distress call that said the ship was sinking in the Pacific Ocean. Three vessels were at last report sailing to the area to begin a search;

Special Article From The Cargo Letter For December 1997

***M/V Merchant Patriot Hangs On ............. as the Hong Kong-registry 17,028-gt, 21,310-dwt, 493-foot general cargo ship operated by Cenargo Ltd. began flooding 30 Dec., 310 miles east of Cape Canaveral, FL. Weather conditions included seas up to 20 feet & winds gusting to 50 knots. The crew of 28 jumped overboard after the ship's lifeboat was knocked off the stern and conditions ruled out helicopter hoists from the ship's deck. Two HH-60G Rescue Hawk helicopters from the U.S. Air Force Reserve's 920th Rescue Group at Patrick AFB, FL.; two HH-60J Jayhawk copters from U.S. Coast Guard Air Stn. Clearwater, Fla.; & a Jayhawk from the Coast Guard's Operation Bahamas in Nassau, rescued the crew from the water. It was planned to transfer them to M/V Pearl Ace (Mitsui O.S.K.), which had diverted to the area after being contacted by the Automated Mutual Vessel Assistance Rescue System (AMVER). However, given weather conditions, crew were flown to Marsh Harbor, Great Abaco Island, the Bahamas. M/V Merchant Patriot was sailing from Praia Mole, Brazil, to Savannah, Ga., with cargo containers & steel project cargo. A seawater pipe in the vessel's engine room burst and flooding went out of control after a patch failed. Some containers have reportedly been lost. She was last was last reported to be under tow by the tugs Maasbank (Dutch) & Samand to Freeport, the Bahamas. We pray for calm seas.
Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Vessel Loss Dispatches For November 1997

1.] 1 Nov. M/V NOL Amber (Singaporean-registry 38,541-dwt, 2,308-TEU containership.) ran aground off Goods Island in Queensland, Australia. The ship, fully loaded, was sailing from Singapore to Brisbane, Australia as part of the Australia Asia Express;

2.] 2 Nov. as 1 crewmember was killed and 2 are missing after an explosion aboard the M/T Han Chang No. 5 (South Korean) while anchored at Ulsan, South Korea, waiting to load cargo;

3.] 4 Nov. Three people of 10 that hid in a container loaded with clothing from the Dominican Republic were found dead the after the container was unloaded from M/V Pampero (5,660-dwt containership) at the Port of Palm Beach, Fla. It is believed they entered the tainer where it was loaded before being taken to the port. Investigators found bread, biscuits, crackers & jugs of water. A hole was drilled in to let in air but the hole was blocked by another container;

4.] 4 Nov. a cargo of steel aboard M/V King Ace (Panamanian.) shifted while the ship was southeast of Kagoshima, Japan. After developing a list, the vessel was towed the next day to Naha, Japan;

5.] 10 Nov. M/V Bandura-1 sank after it was in a collision with M/V Kota Bintang (Singaporean-registry) at Chittagong, Bangladesh. Eight of the 9 crew of the sunken vessel were rescued and 1 is missing;

6.] 11 Nov. M/V Chu Hai (Chinese-registry cargo ship) sank after colliding at 2340 with M/V Asian Hibiscus (Panamanian-registry). The ship sank in the Kammon Strait off Kitakyushu, Japan;

7.] 15 Nov. M/V Seiun Maru No. 20 (Japanese) capsized and sank at 0200 after colliding with M/V Sumiho Maru No. 75 off Iwate prefecture, Japan, leaving 1 dead and 3 missing;

8.] 12 Nov. five crew are missing after the sinking of M/V Don Ricardo (Antigua and Barbuda-registry general cargo) in the western Aegean Sea between the Greek islands of Kea &Macronissos. The Don Ricardo collided with M/V Muhieddine VII (Syrian-registry.) in heavy fog;

9.] 19 Nov. M/V Green Lily (Bahamian refrigerated), sailing from Lerwick, Scotland, to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands with frozen fish, had engine problems off the Shetland Islands of Scotland. It was taken in tow by the Gargano (Italian tug) but the tow parted and the Green Lily ran aground. Battered by high winds and heavy seas, the ship broke up 20 Nov. with 1 dead;

10.] 21 Nov. M/V Kate Maersk (Danish-registry containership operated by Maersk Line) lost 26 containers in the Bay of Biscay. Weather conditions included high winds. An investigation has reportedly shown that the containers were improperly stowed and lashings were too slack;

11.] 21 Nov. M/V Nadine (Syrian registry) sank after a collision with M/T Fiandra (Greek) in the Aegean Sea;

12.] 22 Nov. M/T Apanchanit No. 5 sank 14 miles off Japan's Nagasaki prefecture;

13.] 24 Nov. M/V An Tai (Belize-registry general cargo ship) sank at Wharf 14 in the North Port of Port Klang, Malaysia, after it began to flood at near the No. 3 cargo hold;

14.] 26 Nov. M/V Kuroshima (Panamanian motor refrigerated ship) has leaked about 100,000 gallons of fuel that came ashore in Summer Bay, Alaska, polluting 2,400 feet of the shoreine and another 1.6 miles of Summer Bay Lake. The ship ran aground in high winds off Dutch Harbor, Alaska. Water depth in the area is at most 7 feet and weather included winds of about 90 knots and seas of 20 feet. Three crew & the chief officer were killed while the 16 other crew members were rescued after a lifeboat was pulled to shore by a line fired to the ship. M/V Kuroshima had arrived to load frozen seafood and had been anchored offshore but its anchor chain snapped and it drifted;

15.] 26 Nov. M/V Hoegh Mistral & M/T Nordfarer (Bahamian) collided in French territorial waters south of the Isle of Wight, suffering heavy damage;

16.] 27 Nov. fire began near the engine room of M/T Sansen Maru (Japanese-registry) 11 miles north- northwest of Masuda, Japan. Sansen Maru is carrying 780,000 gallons of gasoline & light oil;

17.] 30 Nov. a French Dauphin helicopter & a British Coast Guard Sea King helicopter rescued the crew of the M/V MSC Rosa M (1,050-TEU containership operated by Mediterranean Shipping Co.) after they abandoned the ship in the English Channel. Weather included Beaufort Force 5 or 6 conditions. The crew boarded lifeboats after the vessel began listing off Cherbourg, France, after its cargo shifted. The master attempted to return to the ship but abandoned the effort due to the MSC Rosa M's 38-degree starboard list. The ship is to be beached so that pumping operations can continue. The vessel had been denied permission to enter Cherbourg;

18.] 30 Nov. M/V MSC Carla In Major Container Disaster - see article below.

19.] 30 Nov. M/V Clipper Skagen (Norwegian tanker) rammed the F/V Peder Wessel (Danish) in the Oresund sound between Denmark & Sweden, killing 2 crewmembers;

Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index

Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

Special Articles From The Cargo Letter For November 1997

***Pirate Attacks More Severe ............. as In the first 9 months of 1997 pirates killed 45 seafarers, a 73% rise compared to the same period last year, and injure other 28 according to the International Maritime Bureau. It's Kuala Lumpur-based Regional Piracy Center reports: "While the numbers of piratical attacks have reduced from the same period last year, it should be noted that there has been an increase in the severity of the attacks. The number of hijackings & vessels that have been fired upon has increased. There were 142 reported incidents of pirate attacks on ships - down 16% year-on- year. Sixty-two attacks were on vessels at anchor, 22 on ships alongside while 30 incidents involved ships underway. S.E. Asia was a particular danger area with 61 attacks of which more than half took place in Indonesia.

***London Reports 3rd Quarter Losses ............ as the Institute of London Underwriters reports that 13 vessels of more than 500 gross tons were lost worldwide during the 3rd quarter. This year, 63 vessels of 505,103 gross tons have been lost as of 30 Sept., compared to 75 of 520,626 gross tons in the same period for 1996. Numbers are likely to change as more vessels are declared total constructive losses. In the third quarter, 74 people were reported dead or missing at sea, but for vessels under 500 gross tons, as many as 1,400 people were killed or are missing. Over the first 9 months of 1996, 83 people were dead or missing.

***M/V MSC Carla In Major Container Disaster ............. as the forward section of the 2,868-TEU motor containership [built in 1972 at Landskrona, Sweden; operated by Mediterranean Shipping Co.], sank 30 Nov. in the Atlantic Ocean. The forward section took as many as 1,200 to the bottom. The ship broke into 2 pieces on early 25 Nov. during a storm 110 miles north Sao Miguel Island in Portugal's Azores Islands. The break-up was at 39 degrees 31 minutes north, 25 degrees 01 minutes west. Weather conditions reportedly included 30-foot seas & gale force winds. The ship broadcast a message late 24 Nov. that its rudder had failed and 2 Portuguese from the aft section. At least 3 crew suffered minor abrasions. The MSC Carla's stern was taken in tow by the tug Fotiy Krylov for San Miguel Island and was still under tow at last report at 3 knots, with a 6-degree starboard list, but was badly sheering. The MSC Carla was sailing from Le Havre, France, to Boston with 2,400 containers and the surviving section of the ship reportedly has about 1,000 containers aboard, including 410 FEUs. Forty-three reefer containers have had their reefer systems restored. More, France's Nuclear Safety Agency said 28 Nov. that some containers aboard the MSC Carla contained medical equipment with radioactive components. The agency said that 3 pieces of medical equipment contained Cesium 137.

***The 2nd Vietnam War .......... as hundreds of fishermen are among as many as 2,500 unaccounted for after Typhoon Linda hit four provinces of Vietnam on 2 and 3 Nov. About 455 people were killed and 2,450 boats & 142,000 structures were destroyed. At least 1,132 small boats were missing off the provinces of Ba Ria-Vung, Ben Tre, Ca Mau, Kien Giang and Tra Vinh. At Con Dao, some 160 vessels sank.

Back To The Top Of 1999 & Before Index Back To Main Vessel Loss Database

For Reports Fron 2005 - Go To Year 2006 Database

For Reports Fron 2005 - Go To Year 2005 Database

For Reports Fron 2004 - Go To Year 2004 Database

For Reports Fron 2003 - Go To Year 2003 Database

For Reports From 2002 - Go To Year 2002 Database

For Reports From 2001 - Go To Year 2001 Database

For Reports From 2000 - Go To Year 2000 Database

For Reports From 1999 - Go To Vear1999 Database

For Reports From 1998 - Go To Year 1998 Database

For Reports From 1997 - Go To Year 1997 Database



NOTE: Due to seasonal weather there were many, many more cargo vessel groundings, barge losses, fires & other disasters we had no room to report. Large loss of life was reported in the fishing fleets and on ferries, but it does not involve cargo and is nor reported. It was another BAD month at sea. We mourn the many vessels lost.


 NOTE: The historic dangers of carriage by sea continue to be quite real. Shippers must be encouraged to purchase high quality marine cargo insurance from their freight forwarder or customs broker. It's dangerous out there. Buy the cargo insurance, before the loss!


Back To Main Page


The Law Offices of Countryman & McDaniel

Eleventh Floor LAX Airport Center

5933 West Century Boulevard

Los Angeles, California, 90045

(310) 342-6500 Voice

(310) 342-6505 Fax


to The Law Offices of Countryman & McDaniel


to The Cargo Letter

 Back To Main Page