Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Kiel Canal Closed After Two Cargo Vessels Collide

Yet Another Accident on a Busy Route
Shipping News Feature

GERMANY – The Kiel Canal has been left closed until further notice after two vessels laden with fertiliser collided on Monday (October 28) at approximately 03:00 local time. The 100 metre long, St. Vincent and Grenadines flagged, 4,380 dwt cargo vessel Siderfly, operated by UK-based Amberseas, on her way to Antwerp from Brunsbüttel, was in collision with the 116 metre long, Netherlands registered, 6,875 dwt LPG tanker Coral Ivory, operated by Antony Veder. The incident has left the Siderfly listing at a 24 degree angle with two large breaks in her hull, measuring about 3 by 5 metres and leaking diesel in the waterway.

The Coral Ivory and her crew of 19 from Russia and the Ukraine as well as the Dutch captain have escaped from the incident unscathed. She was en route from Brunsbüttel to Uusikaupunki, Finland with her cargo of ammonia, for Norwegian based chemical company Yara International. There have also been no reported injuries from Siderfly’s crew of 9 Russians and Ukrainians. At the point of collision, she was loaded with approximately 3,000 tonnes of urea and she has since been stabilised with her engine room drained.

This is the latest accident on a route used as a short cut for vessels travelling between the Baltic Sea and the Atlantic and North Sea. In 2011 two seamen drowned after being thrown overboard when the container ship OOCL Finnland collided with the Russian freighter Tyumen-2 in thick fog.

Photo: The sunken Baltic Carrier after a collision in March 1998 with another vessel. Not a lucky ship, the Baltic Carrier was rammed from behind by a rudderless cargo vessel almost exactly three years later causing her to spill 2,700 tonnes of heavy fuel oil into the sea after which she was named.