Casualties continue to pile up

Sarah Carter
Sarah Carter

08 January 2019

The string of headline casualties that has marked the beginning of 2019 continues with more serious incidents being reported daily.

All of the crew from Hapag Lloyd’s container vessel Yantian Express have now been taken off the vessel and the fire in the containers is now being fought by the salvage tug Smit Nicobar. The USCG which is coordinating response to the casualty has reported that the tug Maersk Mobiliser is intending to take the ship under tow and bring it to Halifax in Canada.

Turkish officials have reported that the veteran river-sea vessel Volgo-Balt 214 built in 1978 and under the Panama flag sent a distress signal yesterday morning advising vessel sinking some 80nm off Samsun, Turkey. The vessel which had a cargo of coal broke in two. Search and rescue operations managed to save seven of the crew but six were reported as having died.

In Vietnam, a Japanese wood chip carrier collided with a small general cargo vessel which broke in two and sank. Four of the five crew were rescued but one died.

This morning the Aulac Fortune a 17,542dwt Vietnamese chemical tanker is on fire off Hong Kong. Local press reports that at least three explosions occurred on the 2010-built vessel which was around 1 nm south of Hong Kong’s Lamma Island. Initial investigations shows that the crew comprised 25 persons two of whom are still missing and one of the 23 recovered has died.