Maneuvering Accident Damages Three Ships in Algerian Port
A maneuvering accident, possibly caused by an electrical failure or another mechanical issue, set off a chain reaction collision at the Algerian port of Bejaia on the evening of December 5. Some local media reports also suggested that there had been a strong wind blowing which might have contributed to the accident.
At least one person working on the dock was injured and three ships were damaged while neighbors reported a loud noise that shook their homes.
The Liberian-flagged container ship Vega Sigma, a 485-foot 13,668 DWT vessel, had begun a maneuver to depart when the vessel lost control. Unable to stop its maneuver, the Vega Sigma struck a second container ship which was docked at the time. The 18,400 DWT Atlantic North, a 518-foot container ship with a capacity of 1,129 TEU, was unloading.
The force of the impact sent the Atlantic North into a third vessel, the 57,800 DWT bulk carrier Owl which was also on the dock. The bulker was unloading a shipment of sugar from Brazil.
Also, a 64-ton crane truck unloading containers from the Atlantic North topped over on the dock with its boom hitting the container ship. Port officials credited the crane operator’s quick response with preventing more serious injuries. However, the crane operator himself was reportedly taken to a local hospital.
Images on Algeria TV showed significant damage to the vessels involved in the accident.