Photos: Two Bulkers Collide Near Cannakale Strait

Damage to the Benitamou's hull at Hold 4 (General Directorate of Coastal Safety)

Published Oct 24, 2021 8:27 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Sunday morning, two bulkers collided near the northern entrance to the Cannakale Strait, resulting in serious damage to both vessels. 

That morning, the 200,000 dwt bulker Benitamou and the 30,000 dwt freighter BC Vanessa were both headed for an anchorage area off Gallipoli. Heavy fog meant restricted visibility. 

At about 0600, the Vanessa's bow struck Benitamou amidships on the port side, leaving a gaping hole in the larger vessel's hull. The force of the impact badly damaged the Vanessa' s bow. 

Turkey's General Directorate of Coastal Safety dispatched three tugs and two response boats to the scene. The Benitamou sustained flooding, but no pollution or injuries were reported and both ships remained in a stable condition. Turkish authorities told local media that both vessels would undergo a thorough dive inspection and temporary repairs before recieving permission to voyage onwards. 

The BC Vanessa's AIS signal was not picked up by a satellite receiver in the hours before and after the collision, according to tracking provided by Pole Star. Her last recorded AIS signal was received shortly before midnight Saturday, according to both Pole Star and MarineTraffic.

The BC Vanessa's last received (and unlikely) AIS position, outlined in red at lower right (Courtesy MarineTraffic)

In an unusual development, MarineTraffic's data shows BC Vanessa's last received AIS position located on dry land in a suburb of Ankara, 150 nm inland from the Sea of Marmara (above). 

Benitamou's AIS transmissions show no significant irregularities. As of Sunday evening she was anchored in the Sea of Marmara.