Casualty Outlook

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July 16, 2009

Look on the bright side, the Kung Pao Chicken was great even if the ship was sitting on a reef. That was the experience of the nine-strong crew of the oil tanker Colombo Queen after it grounded in Taiwan on its way from Hiroshima to Sri Lanka. Stuck in Jialeshui until “things can be sorted out”, with both a language barrier and some pretty miserable food leading them to go on hunger strike, local people took pity on them and treated them to a feast.

Another reef in the news is the one cruise ship Sea Diamond discovered the hard way in the Santorini caldera. A junta of coastguard officers decided to blame the ship’s master rather than the badly-surveyed Greek navigational chart that put the reef in the wrong place. Neither the master nor the ship owner was permitted to give evidence to the junta.

And yet another reef came in for punishment, this time in Australia as the former coastal freighter Satthia and Inlet Reef came into close aquaintaintance. Investigations are ongoing.

In Chittagong MV Modern lost control and collided with dredging ship MV Khanak and sank, while the Russian Captain Lus did a ditto with the Norwegian tanker Sundstraum, the former was carrying radioactive waste and the latter had a cargo of chemicals.

Bad weather continues to take its toll on Asian ferries: A tourist ferry sank off Phuket while in the Philippines the Superferry 5 slammed into a pier at Dumaguete.

Meanwhile a fire aboard the  6,350 teu containership MOL Prosperity in Hong Kong took almost a week to extinguish.

Next week we’ll take a look at the fate of the mv Tolstoy and black marks in the Baltic.

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