Car Carrier Sinks Near Rotterdam After Collision, Casualties Reported – UPDATE

Pls read the rest of the article in above link Copyright Gcaptain

Missing Crew Member of Baltic Ace Found, Salvage Operations Suspended

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 Human Error Behind North Sea Collision
The Baltic Ace car carrier, sailing under a Bahamas flag, is seen in this undated handout photo released to Reuters by December 6, 2012. REUTERS/Ian Johnston/ Dutch police have identified a body found on 19 December, 20 nautical miles west of IJmuiden, as that of the 31 year-old Polish first mate of the Baltic Ace, a RoRo that sank within minutes 5 December  2012 after colliding with container vessel Corvus J. The body was found by a fisherman and then subsequently transferred to port by a rescue boat and handed over to the police who established positive fingerprint identification.

Nach Kollision mit der "Baltic Ace"

„Corvus J“ liegt in Vlissingen

Mittwoch, 12. Dezember 2012
Der Wulstbug der „Corvus J“ riss den Rumpf des Car-Carriers auf. Foto: KNRM.nlDer Wulstbug der „Corvus J“ riss den Rumpf des Car-Carriers auf. Foto:
Das beim Untergang des Autofrachters „Baltic Ace“ in der Nordsee beschädigte deutsche Containerschiff „Corvus J“ liegt weiter in Vlissingen. Es darf dem Vernehmen nach erst Kurs auf Antwerpen nehmen, nachdem Reparaturen durchgeführt wurden. Der Frachter war mit der „Baltic Ace“ kollidiert, woraufhin dieser in nur 15 Minuten sank. Die Ursache ist noch unklar, menschliches Versagen wird nicht ausgeschlossen. Die Suche nach den Vermissten wurde eingestellt. Sechs Seeleute der „Baltic Ace“ wurden für tot erklärt. Damit hat die Havarie insgesamt elf Todesopfer gefordert. Mehr: Im "THB Täglicher Hafenbericht" WEITERE Infos + Video o. link Here are two interviews conducted by the Dutch website with rescuers involved in the Baltic Ace sinking. We have provided the english translation below each of the videos. Female voice over, Pauline Broekema: “Stellendam, last night. Even on shore it can be sensed what it must have been like at sea. The rescue boat Antoinette returns around 4 am. On board is the body of one the crew members of the cargo vessel (Baltic Ace). Under supervision of the police the remains are handed over to an undertaker.”

Suche nach Überlebenden aufgegeben

Havarist „Baltic Ace“ mit bis zu 60 Millionen Dollar versichert

Samstag, 08. Dezember 2012
Die "Baltic Ace" ist mit dem Containerfeeder "Corvus J" kollidiert. Human Error Behind North Sea Collision
Der Mitte dieser Woche in der Nordsee gesunkene Autofrachter „Baltic Ace“ war mit 50 bis 60 Millionen Dollar versichert. Das berichtete die Nachrichtenagentur Reuters unter Berufung auf informierte Kreise. Die 1400 Fahrzeuge, die der Frachter zum Zeitpunkt der Kollision geladen hatte, sind separat versichert, hieß es. Die niederländische Küstenwache hat unterdessen die Suche nach Überlebenden der schweren Schiffskollision in der Nordsee aufgegeben. Elf Seeleute starben. Sie gehörten zu der 24 Mann starken Besatzung des Frachters "Baltic Ace". Mehr: Im "THB Täglicher Hafenbericht"

human Error Behind North Sea Collision

Posted on Dec 7th, 2012 with tags , , , , , .
A collision that killed five sailors and sank the Baltic Ace car carrier on Wednesday evening was probably caused by a human error, Reuters informs citing Panagiootis Kakoliris, operations manager at Stamco Ship Management Co., Ltd. which managed the sunken ship.The weather conditions were normal at the time of the collision, according to Dutch Defence Ministry and Greek manager. Mr. Kakoliris also excluded the possibility of a technical failure of the car carrier indicating that Baltic Ace was just five years old and that it had past the inspection in August.The Dutch coastguard have located the wreck some 25-30 metres near the Noord Hinder shipping route.Since the sinking lasted only 15 minutes it is assumed that the Baltic Ace was hit in the side and because of that a large amount of water entered the ship so fast

Baltic Ace Sinking Begs the Question: Are RoRo’s Safe?

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 nformation sources:
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About The Author

John Konrad

Captain John Konrad is co-founder of Unofficial Networks, Editor In Chief of gCaptain, and author of the book Fire On The Horizon. He is a USCG licensed Master of Unlimited Tonnage and, since graduating from SUNY Maritime College, has sailed a variety of ships from ports around the world.
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Autofrachter sinkt nach Kollision

Freitag, 07. Dezember 2012
Die Ursache des Unglücks ist noch unklar.
Auf der Nordsee ist am Mittwochabend der Autofrachter "Baltic Ace" mit dem Containerschiff "Corvus J" zusammengeprallt. Nach der Kollision war der Car-Carrier mit 24 Mann an Bord gesunken. Das Unglück ereignete sich rund 100 Kilometer vor der niederländischen Küste in der Höhe von Rotterdam. Rettungskräfte haben in der Nordsee bereits das fünfte Opfer der Schiffskollision geborgen. Sechs Seeleute werden noch vermisst. Ihre Überlebenschancen sind nach Einschätzung der Küstenwache "gleich null". Der Mannschaft des Containerfrachters gehe es gut, das Schiff habe keine größeren Schäden davongetragen. Mehr: Im "THB Täglicher Hafenbericht"
The M/V Cougar Ace seen listing on its port side in July 2006. Equipped with built-in ramps and long tiers of decks, Roll On Roll Off (RoRo) ships are essentially floating parking garages that allow vehicles to be driven aboard the ship at the loading port and driven off at another. The use of the vehicles’ own wheels makes loading RoRos much faster and more effective than traditional ships which require massive cranes to unload. RoRo’s are certainly efficient but, the question remains, are they safe? The truth is that the most tragic RoRo incidents – like the 1987 Herald Of Free Enterprise disaster which claimed 193 lives, the 1994 M/V Estonia tragedy which claimed 852 lives, and yesterday’s sinking of the Baltic Ace – are only exclamation points on less tragic losses like that of the M/V Cougar Ace and M/V Tricolor. History Modern RoRo ships can trace their origins back 100 years to the early days of the steam locomotives. Back then, ships were designed to take trains across rivers which were too wide for bridges: the ships were equipped with rails, and the trains simply rolled straight on to the ship, which sailed across the river to another rail berth where the train would roll off again. An example is the Firth of Forth ferry in Scotland, which began operations in 1851. continue reading in the   link above

Car Carrier Sinks Near Rotterdam After Collision, Casualties Reported – UPDATE

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Developing Story…. File photo of the car carrier “Baltic Ace” in the port of Bremerhaven, Germany Update 2: BBC has reported that the bodies of three crewmembers have been recovered and eight are still missing. Meanwhile the AP says that 4 bodies have been recovered, citing a Coast Guard official. Update 1: Unofficial report from the scene…
“Car carrier has sunk, 13 crewmembers are rescued and brought to a nearby hospital. 11 still missing.. Two Dutch navy vessels, 2 helicopters and 2 SAR vessels from the KRNM are also searching for the rest of the crewmembers that are still 11 missing.”
We have been told that the car carrier sank quickly, possibly within 15 minutes. Conflicting information earlier that the 11 missing have been rescued. This appears to be untrue at this time. We’ll update on the missing when we have official confirmation. Another unofficial report from the scene…
4 crew members have been brought to the Erasmus medical center in Rotterdam with mild wounds and hypothermia. 7 crewmembers were flown to Ostend in Belgium. 2 have been saved by the container vessel which collided with the car carrier and 11 are still unaccounted for. 3 helicopters, 2 navy vessels and several other vessels from the KNRM are searching. Also several merchant vessels are giving assistance in the search.
Original: A car carrier is sinking in the North Sea near Rotterdam after colliding with a containership Wednesday night. The Bahamas-flagged car carrier Baltic Ace collided with the Cyprus-flagged containership Covus J after dark approximately 25 to 30 miles from Port of Rotterdam. The Baltic Ace is said to be sinking as a result of the collision and there may be as many as 24 crewmembers on board. A rescue operation is currently underway. An unknown number of crew are being pulled from four life rafts by helicopter. Reuters in the UK has reported that the Dutch coastguard said the Baltic Ace has “almost certainly has sunk.” The Baltic Ace was en route from Zeebrugge in Belgium to Kotka, Finland. The Corcus J was en route from Grangemouth (UK) to Antwerp.
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About The Author

Mike Schuler

After graduating the Catholic University of America in 2005 with a B.S.B.A. in Finance, Mike Schuler went on to Tahoe to help with the launch of gCaptain's sister site, In June of 2008 Mike joined as the first full-time employee in charge of the day-to-day operations of and Unofficial Networks, LLC.

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5 Responses to Baltic Ace Sinking Begs the Question: Are RoRo’s Safe?

  1. Anonymous says:
    No vessel is "safe," much like the fact that there is not a shipboard operation in existence absent of danger. That's why we have system defenses: SOLAS conventions; regulations; class rules; and above all, licensed mariners. It's almost like saying a tanker is dangerous because it carries flammable/combustible cargo (yikes… wouldn't have been too great a job washing tanks before the development of IG systems). We don't see any absence of tankers though. As you mentioned earlier, we might see new regulations, but we won't see these vessels disappear. There is not a more efficient, reliable method of transporting vehicles in existence today. Unfortunately, only in the face of disaster is this vessel-type's biggest strength it's ultimate weakness, as it is ideally designed for a minimum turn-around time (generally not more than five-hours) in port. Potential new regulations could pose some serious fallout from industry, especially if time were to be greatly increased with little benefit to overall safety. My prayers go out to the families of the crew.
  2. This ship visited the port of Tyne every eight days when she was running to St Petersburg .I visited the ship quite often as I am a volunteer for South Shields Mission to Seafarers . There is some photos of the crew on our Facebook page " SOUTH SHIELDS SEAFARERS CENTRE " no names have been released for the casualty .
  3. Sean McLaughlin says:
    I sailed on a ro/ro for a time as a cadet. It was an interesting experience. In no way was the vessel unsafe. The company lashed down all vehicles and the ship was fast enough (24 knots) to evade any weather that would put the vessel in danger. The greatest dangers were during loading and unloading when non-crew members were aboard the vessel. There is also a surprising amount of gasoline on board, 1/4 tank per vehicle, and for whatever reason the military stuff (HUMVV) is especially dangerous because they randomly catch on fire. But the ship I sailed maintained 6 water tight compartments along its length and could flood any one and remain upright and stable as was proven in 1992ish when the engine room flooded for other reasons and the ship remained upright and stable. It seems most of the issues with ro/ro ships are caused by crew mistakes and are not caused by inherent problems with the ships.
  4. Richard says:
    “In 2006 the crew of the RoRo vessel Cougar Ace was able to escape the ship after she grounded on a reef in Alaska …” It assumed an angle of loll during a ballast transfer more than 200 miles south of the Aleutians … there aren’t many reefs in that area.
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