Two Ships Collide off Greece Causing a Small Fire on Containership

containership collision
Libertas H seen leaving Rotterdam in 2007 (Alfvan Beem photo - CC0 1.0 license)

Published Sep 6, 2023 12:54 PM by The Maritime Executive

Greek authorities are investigating after a cargo ship and a containership collided in the Ionian Sea on the western side of Greece overnight. While there appears to have been only minor damage to the vessels, they are trying to understand what caused a fire to break out aboard the Malta-registered feeder ship Libertas H.

The two vessels were traveling in the busy sea lane on the western side of Greece approximately four miles from the island of Kefalonia. The Coast Guard is reporting that a “fresh breeze” (Force 5) was blowing at the time with wind speeds up to about 20 knots. Images show a small chop on the waters.

The Libertas H managed by Reederei Hinsch was sailing from Piraeus, Greece to the port of Durres in Albania loaded with containers. The vessel, which was built in 2007, is 8,700 dwt and 416 feet in length. There is a crew of 11 aboard.

The other vessel involved in the collision is the Sea Leader, a general cargo ship registered in Malta. The 6,355 dwt vessel was reported to be sailing from Italy to Aliaga, Turkey loaded with an unidentified cargo. She has a crew of 12 aboard.

The collision occurred in the early hours of Wednesday morning, September 6. The chief of the local fire department told Greek radio Skai that they had reports of a small fire aboard the Libertas H but that the crew was able to extinguish it. The fire department and Hellenic Coast Guard responded to the accident and later a fleet of tugs was reported at the two vessels.

The Coast Guard ordered the vessel to sail to the port of Argostoli on Kefalonia. Indications are that the Sea Leader anchored in the bay and the Liberatas H has now moored. Both vessels will undergo inspections and the captains will be interviewed to determine the circumstances of the collision and what caused the fire.


Video of the Libertas H arriving in Argostoli after the collision


Top photo by Alfvan Beem - CC0 1.0 license