Maersk Containership and Balearia RoPax Collide off Spain 

ferry and containership collide off Spain
Damage to the RoPax Napoles after she collided with Maersk containership off Spain (Lobo/Twitter)

Published Mar 14, 2022 3:11 PM by The Maritime Executive

A Maersk containership and a RoPax ferry crossing the Alboran Sea from North Africa to Spain collided early Saturday morning with no reports of causalities. Both vessels were able to proceed to port but the RoPax was seen with several dents and scrapes above the waterline on her port side and arrived in port with the remains of a container entangled with her port bridge wing. The MRCC in Spain reports that it sent a vessel and an aircraft to the area to search for containers that fell from the Maersk ship.

The 23,975 gross ton Napoles is a 20-year-old RoPax. She departed the North African port of Melilla crossing the Alboran Sea bound for Spain. The collision occurred at approximately 3:00 a.m. local time on March 12 and according to reports, the ferry which was carrying 185 passengers and 50 crew activated its security protocols. It arrived at Algeciras around 6:30 a.m. Daylight images showed the extent of the damages to the ferry as well as the twisted metal from the container along with the damage to the bridge wing. A crane was brought in later in the day to remove the remains of the container.

The RoPax collided with the Laust Maersk, a 21-year-old containership registered with a homeport of Hong Kong. The 63,000 dwt boxship, which has a carrying capacity of 4,258 TEU, had previously departed Algeciras and was reportedly sailing to Italy at the time of the collision. The containership remained in the area of Algeciras first at the anchorage and later moved to the dock where dents and scrapes were also visible above the waterline on the starboard slide along with several additional containers that were damaged.

Salvamento Marítimo de Almería confirmed that it had been notified of the incident and Dirección General de la Marina Mercante will be investigating the circumstances of the collision.

RoPax Napoles was reportedly proceeding to a Spanish shipyard to undergo further inspection and repairs.