AIS Animation Shows Bizarre U-Turn Collision in North Sea

EEMS Cobalt PAKSOY 1 collision
Photo: Germany’s Central Command for Maritime Emergencies

Two cargo ships collided in the North Sea off the northwestern coast of Germany on Thursday, resulting in damage to both ships but so far no pollution.

Germany’s Central Command for Maritime Emergencies has taken up the response. The agency reports that the Turkish-flagged general cargo ship PAKSOY 1 collided with the Dutch-flagged cargo ship EEMS COBALT at approximately 9:30 p.m. local time around 25 km northwest of Borkum, Germany on Thursday. 

The cause of the collision is still under investigation, but an AIS animation of the ships’ track shows the PAKSOY 1 made an sudden U-turn directly into the side of the EEMS COBALT after the two ships had already passed. Check it out:

Initially the ships were stuck together with the bow of the PAKSOY 1 embedded in the hull of the smaller EEMS COBALT. They were eventually separated Friday morning and both vessels moved under their own power to port (EEMS COBALT sailed for Eemshaven while PAKSOY 1 headed to Westerems where it now at anchor). The EEMS COBALT has suffered a hold in its hull above the waterline and PAKSOY 1 has damage to its bow.

According to AIS, the PAKSOY 1 sailing from The Netherlands to St. Petersburg, Russia, which raises even more questions about why it made the sudden U-turn.

No injuries or pollution has been reported.