Crew Rescued as Bulkers Collide off Shanghai
Two foreign-flagged bulkers operating near the Yangtze River collided early on Tuesday, January 23, during storms in the area. Chinese and Turkish officials are reported that the crew was safely evacuated from a damaged Turkish-owned vessel while both vessels were being anchored.
The Turkish-owned bulker Omega (48,821 dwt) registered in the Marshall Islands was reported to be inbound to China with a cargo of iron ore after transiting the Suez Canal last month. The vessel had a crew of 21 aboard, including 16 Turks, and was reportedly struck midship by the Mirabella (46,645 dwt) which was inbound to China with a cargo of steel products. The trip was coming from the UAE.
Weather forecasters were predicting winds of over 30 mph and seas running above 15 feet. The bow of the Mirabella was reportedly damaged in the collision while the Omega began taking on water in one of its cargo holds. The crew of the Omega was ordered into the ship’s lifeboat and later taken aboard the Mirabella.
Salvage team members were airlifted to the ship to stop it from drifting (CCTV)
Chinese officials are reporting that rescue boats and helicopters were dispatched along with a salvage tug. When they reached the scene, they reported the Omega was drifting and in danger of sinking. The decision was made to airlift two members of the salvage team to the vessel and later Tuesday they were able to drop both bow anchors to stop the drifting. They are reporting the vessel was stable at the moment and being observed.
The salvage team was escorting the Mirabella to a safe anchorage. The Mirabella is registered in the Cook Islands and managed by a company in Lebanon.