Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Woes of the Ocean - Headlines to Depress as the Dangers at Sea Illustrated

Some Samples of the Problems Faced While Afloat
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – Three emails which hit the Newsdesk simultaneously show some of the dangers faced by all manner of vessels and their personnel whilst out at sea. The latest piracy incident, a mysterious fire on a military vessel and the fate of a containership came all at once.

Unsurprisingly given the history, the piracy incident was yet another kidnapping south of Cotonou, in the infamous Gulf of Guinea. The Captain, second officer and chief engineer, all Korean, were abducted together with a Filipino engineer from the 62 metre fishing vessel Iris S according to Dryad Global reports.

Meanwhile the Strait of Hormuz, another location often featured for all the wrong reasons, was the location of the mysterious fire which afflicted the Kharg, one of the Iranian Navy’s largest warships. The 400 or so aboard were apparently evacuated but the British built ship reportedly sank near to the Port of Jask.

The incident is similar to one in 2018 when an Iranian destroyer sank. On this occasion the fire is currently reported to have started in the engine room but spread rapidly to other parts of the vessel. Despite the heavy build-up of US naval forces in the region there has been as yet no suggestion that this was a military incident. Kharg was built by Swan Hunter before the Iranian revolution and used as a tanker/ resupply/ training vessel.

Finally, off the coast of Sri Lanka, the containership X-Press Pearl finally sank as we had predicted she would. The ship, on fire for twelve days, finally saw the blaze extinguished but foundered as she was being towed away to deeper water. The incident is recorded as the country’s worst ever marine environmental disaster.

Photo: The Kharg sinks near the Strait of Hormuz. Picture credit BlueBayBlog.