149,000 ton bulk ore carrier Kamikawa Maru sinks off Brazil

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The following was published in the September 17 2001 edition of Lloyds List

Sinking spurs IMO bulker debate By Our IMO Correspondent Bulk carrier safety is due for discussion at the International Maritime Organisation this week, in time to mull over the sinking of yet another bulk carrier with heavy loss of life. The meeting of the IMO sub-committee dealing with ships' stability and load lines kicks off today following the loss of the Panamanian-flagged, 1986-built ore carrier Kamikawa Maru off the coast of Brazil, on Saturday.

Nine crew members were reported missing and 13 reported rescued as the 149,000 dwt vessel went down. The bulk carrier, managed by Fuyo Kaiun of Osaka and owned by Sumitomo Metal Industries, had been bound for Japan from Brazil when it reported that it was taking on water at around latitude 32 31 S, longitude 26 19W, according to Lloyd's Shipping Intelligence Service .

KAMIKAWA MARU (Panama) London, Sept 14 - Following received from Coastguard Falmouth MRCC, timed 1100, UTC: Following received from Brazil RCC, timed 1054, UTC, Sep 13: Thirteen crew of bulk Kamikawa Maru, Brazil for Japan, have been rescued by bulk Aldebaran. Kamikawa Maru "probably" sank in lat 32 31S, long 26 18W. (See issue of Sept 14.)

London, Sep 14 - A press report, dated today, states: Thirteen crew members were rescued and 10 others are missing, yesterday, after bulk Kamikawa Maru, owned by Tokyo-based Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd, sank off Rio de Janeiro', according to local media and company officials.

London, Sep 14 - LMIS representatives in Piraeus report: On Sep 13, the bulk Aldebaran rescued thirteen crew members of bulk Kamikawa Maru, which had sunk in the South Atlantic Ocean, 1100 sea miles east-south-east of Rio de Janeiro. The rescue operation was done under difficult weather conditions as the winds were gale force 8 in the area.

London, Sep 15 - Following received from the Osaka-based managers of bulk Kamikawa Maru, timed 0355, UTC: Vessel on a voyage from Brazil to Japan, cargo iron, has sunk in an unknown position off Brazil. Nine crew members are currently missing. SAR operations are being carried out by the Brazilian marine authorities.

London, Sept 15 - A press report, dated Sept 14, states; Bulk Kamikawa Maru sank yesterday in the Atlantic 2,000 kms off Rio de Janeiro while en route to Tokyo, Brazilian port authorities said today. Two vessels which sailed close to the area have rescued 13 crew members on Kamikawa Maru. The nationality of 10 missing men is not immediately known. There were four South Koreans and 19 Burmese in the crew. The vessel sank after seawater flooded the hold after one of the "lids" broke amid a storm, authorities said. Kamikawa Maru, carrying "150" (? 150,000) tons of iron ore, left port (? Sepetiba Terminal) on the Guaiba island last Friday (Sept 8). A Brazilian Air Force rescue mission arrived at the site four hours after Kamikawa Maru went down, but the survivors had already been rescued, officials said.

-- Rich Marsh (marshr@airmail.net), September 18, 2001


Further news published in the September 24 2001 edition of Lloyds List:

KAMIKAWA MARU (Panama)London, Sep 21 - A press report, dated today, states:

Thirteen survivors from bulk Kamikawa Maru stepped onto South African soil yesterday. A further 10 crewmen, including the master and officers, are believed to be missing. The survivors were airlifted from the bulk Aldebaran, by Canadian Helicopter Co-operation Africa (CHC Africa), about 32 nautical miles off the South African coast, yesterday, and taken to Cape Town Harbour. It is expected that they will be flown to their respective countries only once it has been established what happened, it appears that the crew abandoned the ship in two lifeboats, but one of the lifeboats has not been found. The bulk carrier was carrying a cargo of iron ore from Brazil to Japan when she ran into heavy weather half way across the Atlantic and was badly damaged. The South African tug John Ross, which sailed from Cape Town last week to Kamikawa Maru, has arrived in the area where she was last seen, but has not found her yet. The vessel was last seen floating upside down.

-- Rich Marsh (marshr@airmail.net), September 24, 2001.

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