On 15th January the 90m long cargo vessel Lisa ran aground on the River Barrow near Pink Rock, Ireland (above). The Lisa had departed from Antwerp bound for Drogedha. While underway to New Ross with 4,500 tons of dry goods, she stranded on a mud bank. The Lisa remained aground for until two days later when two tugs and a dredger pulled her free.

On 16th January the 57,280gt/2005 built vehicle carrier Alliance St Louis suffered an electrical fire and went adrift off Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico with 20 crewmembers aboard. The fire was quickly extinguished by the crew but the 199m ship was left running on emergency power until repairs were made. The 21,080dwt Alliance St Louis is operated by Höegh Autoliners and owned by Alliance Navigation, which provides rollon/ roll-off vehicle carriers from U.S. ports to destinations in the Mediterranean, Red Sea, Arabian Gulf and Arabian Sea.

A Capesize bulk carrier blocked the River Elbe in Germany to shipping on 17th January she suffered an engine failure. The 93,565gt/2010 built and 180,100dwt Cape Leonidas restricted the traffic to and from Hamburg until several tugs brought the 292m long ship under control and towed her to Hamburg port, where she had been heading from Narvik in Norway.

On 17th January it was reported that the 2,528gt/1998 built general cargo ship Meridian Tres had sunk off Bohol Island in the Philippines. The vessel was en route from Cebu to Manila suffered a cargo shift during a storm with containers also going overboard. The ship developed a heavy list and suffered a power blackout, thus losing propulsive power. After several minutes the Meridian Tres capsized and sank. One seaman was reported missing while the other 28 people safely abandoned ship via a lifeboat.

The 6,031gt/1987 built geared cargo vessel Kraken has been scuttled off Galveston, Texas to create a new artificial reef for fishermen and divers in the Gulf of Mexico. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Artificial Reef Programme sank the ship on 20th January 2017 approximately 67 miles off the coast. The ship now lies at a depth of around 42m. Over time she will become an artificial reef that attracts fish, coral and other marine species as well as divers and anglers. The Kraken’s proximity to the Flower Gardens Marine Sanctuary also makes her a premiere dive location in the Gulf of Mexico. The sinking of the Kraken was made possible by donations and funds from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill natural resource damage settlement.

The 969gt/1952 built live fish carrier Fisktrans sank in the Norwegian Sea off Bodo, Norway on 25th January. The vessel suffered steering gear failure in stormy weather and heavy seas, went adrift and drifted to shallow waters, where she dropped anchor, but suffered water ingress aft. The six crewmembers sent a distress signal to the local authorities and abandoned the vessel and were rescued. According to preliminary information, the 74m long and 9m beam ship suffered hull breaches after contacting with the rocks in the shallow water. The stern was submerged, but the fore peak remained partially afloat.

The 47,386gt/2007 built LPG tanker BW Maple collided with the 29,141gt/1996 built Indian tanker MT Dawn Kanchipuram (formerly the Maersk Cristiansbro) within the port of Kamarajar limits in Ennore early on 28th January. The ships were being guided by tugs and pilots at the time.

The 8,503gt/2008 built tanker Sea Emperor was detained by the MCA at Fawley, Southampton, on 28th January due to various deficiencies related to the ship’s equipment. The crew were found to have been without warm clothing for days and their wages had gone unpaid for three months. Fresh clothes, soap and other cleaning materials and sim cards were subsequently taken aboard by the Assistant Port Chaplain. After proceeding to anchor in St. Helen’s Roads the Sea Emperor then departed for Lagos, Nigeria, where she was scheduled to arrive on 18th February. Once there, a Lagos Port Chaplain was to visit the crew to offer support as needed.

The 12,514gt/2012 built feeder Elbsailor ran aground near Schacht-Audorf on the Kiel Canal on 31st January. The 158m long vessel was transitting in the East bound direction, en-route from Hamburg to St. Petersburg, but after a mechanical failure she got stuck a sand bank. The canal was blocked to traffic until tugs refloated and moved the errant ship.

On 7th February the Canadian Coast Guard was monitoring the disabled cargo ship 7,764gt/2004 built Thorco Crown as she wallowed approximately 32 nautical miles off the coast of Port aux Basques, Newfoundland following a fire on board that damaged the main engine. The Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) Sir William Alexander was on scene with a tug expected to arrive the following day. The vessel was in the Cabot Strait when the problem arose whilst en-route from Argentia to Montreal. Problems in establishing a tow line meant that the ship was still adrift on 9th February.

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