Ship sinking off South Africa : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

>From Fairplay

Sun sinks in the South

A 37-year-old passenger vessel being towed as a dead ship from the US to breakers in India sank last night about 216 km off Cape St Francis on South Africa*s Eastern Cape coast. The 17,891 GT Sun, built in 1964 as the Shalom for Zim Israel, was carrying about 420 tonnes of heavy oil and was under tow to the Chinese tug Hua An. At the request of the ship*s underwriters, salvage experts from Smit Pentow flew to the scene earlier this week after reports that the ship was taking on water. The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) subsequently ordered that ship be towed due south away from the SA coast to a site with about 5,000 m of water depth. SAMSA has also despatched an oil pollution abatement vessel from Cape Town. A second vessel was placed on standby and an aircraft sent to patrol the area.

>From Lloyds List


London, Jul 26 - A press report, dated Jul 25, states: The South African Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) has ordered m salvage tug Hua An (2,057 gt, built 1977), towing s passenger vessel Sun (ex Canyon Ranch at Sea, 17,891 gt, built 1964) from the United States to India, not to come within 300 kilometres of the South African coast.

Samsa's Captain Bill Dernier said the passenger vessel is taking on water and listing severely about 120 nautical miles south of Cape St Francis and may sink. The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism has despatched one of the coastwatch oil pollution and abatement vessels from here to the scene. The passenger vessel is holding 420 tonnes of heavy fuel oil. Dernier said the coastwatch vessel was ladened with the equipment necessary for abatement operations should the passenger vessel sink and oil come to the surface. The coastwatch vessel is expected to rendezvous with the tug and tow late tonight. A second coastwatch vessel will leave here should this become necessary. Smit Pentow Marine reported that a call was received yesterday morning from the vessel's underwriters for a salvage team to be flown to the scene to assess the situation and take preventative measures if possible.

The full team left shortly after noon yesterday and surveyed Sun. The team noted that Sun was listing at about 34 degrees. Dernier has ordered that Hua An tow the Sun due south and away from the South African coast. The Sun is being towed as a dead ship to the shipyard in India where she will be scrapped. Her owners are based in Germany. (Note - Canyon Ranch at Sea was last reported to have arrived Freeport, Bahamas, Jan 1, 2000.)

London, July 26 - A press report, dated today, states: S passenger vessel Sun that was being towed from the United States to breakers yards in India sunk off Cape St Francis late last night. Salvors Smit Pentow Marine received this information from the master of tow tug, m salvage tug Hua An. Smit Pentow Marine said Sun had sunk about 216 kilometres south of Cape St Francis. The water depth in the area is approximately 4,700 metres.

-- Rich Marsh (, July 27, 2001


holding 420 tonnes of heavy fuel oil.
Well why didn't the pump the oil out before this journey?
Or pump it out now?

-- (, July 27, 2001.

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