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Nigerian Navy Evacuates Six Crewmembers from Tanker

crew evacuated from Nigerian tanker
Halima in a 2021 photo at ECM Terminals is at Calabar Port, Nigeria (ECM Terminals)

Published Feb 6, 2023 4:46 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Nigerian Navy is reporting that it responded to a call for assistance from a tanker waiting near the Lagos oil operations after six crewmembers became ill possibly from fumes in one of the tanks aboard the vessel. Reports are confused with some media outlets suggesting asphyxiation saying six sailors died while the Navy and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) are reporting that the victims were taken to a military hospital for treatment.

NIMASA announced the rescue from the product tanker Halima, a 26,200 dwt vessel registered in Nigeria. AIS data shows that the vessel had been in the anchorage since the end of last month having arrived from Liberia. Reports said the crew was likely cleaning the vessel’s tanks preparing to receive its next cargo.

In that report, it said seven people were removed from the vessel and taken to the hospital. NIMASA said they were receiving medical attention, “where they are presently recovering. Five of them are now stable, one has a broken leg while one is still in critical condition.” 

The Nigerian Navy provided additional details reporting that it had dispatched its patrol ship the Beecroft on February 3 after receiving information from the Nigerian Navy Maritime Domain Awareness facility. They reported going to the vessel which was approximately three nautical miles southwest of Lagos fairway buoy after a report of “an urgent need for casualty evacuation of six accident victims who sustained fatal injuries while working onboard the vessel.”

The Navy also reported that the victims were taken to the Military Hospital in Ikoyi for medical treatment. They also warned ships to maintain the highest level of safety in line with international best practices. There have been multiple reports of crew asphyxiation from tanks that were not properly vented and lacked appropriate protective gear. 

Neither the Navy nor NIMASA said the crewmembers, in this case, had succumbed to their injuries although the media reports are saying that six people died.