Petty Officer Cruel Kev's Blog to honor our Sailors, Mariners, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, Airmen & Soldiers of the United States as well as Sailors & Mariners World wide.
Monday, November 21, 2016
Cargo Ship Crew Airlifted After Stone Barge Collision
A major incident was declared when a cargo ship lost power and steering and began taking on water after colliding with a rock barge, off the coast of Dover. Challenging weather conditions meant the Saga Skycargo vessel then drifted onto the Varne Bank.
The collision occurred near Samphire Hoe and was reported to the UK Coastguard around 7.20am yesterday morning, 20 November. Two Coastguard helicopters from Lydd and Lee-on-Solent were sent to evacuate crew members from the 200m-cargo vessel, which had 23 people on board. Dover and Dungeness all-weather lifeboats, and Deal and Dover Coastguard Rescue Teams were put on standby to help receive crew members rescued from the vessel. Eleven of the 23 people on board were winched off and taken to Dover.
The other 12 remained on board as the Saga Skyand worked to get the vessel moving with the aid of a tug. Duty commander Steve Carson described the weather conditions as ‘particularly challenging’. He said yesterday: ‘We have declared this a major incident.’ Saga Skyis now in a safe anchorage at Dungeness. Inspectors, including one from the Maritime & Coastguard Agency were sent to the Saga Skyto assess the damage before the vessel was moved. The Maritime & Coastguard Agency’s counter-pollution officer and duty surveyor, as well as the Secretary of State’s Representative Maritime and Salvage liaised with the UK Coastguard and the crew on the ship. There is no indication of pollution.
RNLI Dover, deputy second coxswain Robert Bendhiaf, said yesterday: ‘Facing Force 11-12 weather conditions today was one of the biggest jobs for myself as one of the youngest coxswains Dover lifeboat station has historically had. ‘I’m very proud of all the RNLI volunteer crew members I had on board with me for maintaining a calm and professional manner in such rough seas during today’s operation. ‘It’s not often we work alongside multi agencies but today showed how well our RNLI lifeboat stations can operate with each other and other SAR units.’
Sixteen stowaways, 15 of them Nigerians and one a Liberian, have been arrested by the Search and Rescue personnel of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). The stowaways were apprehended, in conjunction with officers and men of the Nigerian Navy. on a United States bound cargo vessel, MV Columbia River. The arrest which was effected on Friday November 4, at the Lagos fairway buoy was sequel to a distress signal sent to the Regional Search and Rescue Coordination Centre based in NIMASA which in turn alerted the Nigerian Navy. The Navy immediately sent its vessel NNS Karaduwa to the location of MV Columbia River where 16 stowaways were apprehended and one of them sustained an injury on the shoulder while attempting to escape arrest.
MV Columbia River
The injured stowaway was immediately taken away by the NIMASA Search and Rescue team on its vessel NIMASA Benue to the Agency’s Search and Rescue Base Clinic for treatment while the others were taken away by the Navy for profiling and subsequent hand over to the Security Agencies for further investigation. The crew of the Hong Kong flagged vessel had originally thought that they were under attack by armed pirates but preliminary investigation showed that the persons on board the vessel were only intruders who hid in the vessel to leave the shores of Nigeria in search of greener pastures in the US. The stowaways who included one Liberian national are in custody and will be handed over to the Nigerian Immigration Service for further action. Piracy and related activities have drastically reduced in Nigerian waters as a result of the combined efforts of the Nigerian Navy, NIMASA and other stakeholders with Lagos accounting for zero incident in the last six months.