The damaged Hellenic Navy minehunter HS Kallisto is towed after its collision with a container ship off the port of Piraeus, near Perama, Greece, October 27, 2020. Sotiris Dimitropoulos/Eurokinissi via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS
All 27 crew members of the minesweeper are safe and accounted. Two suffered relatively minor injuries, a statement from the Hellenic Coast Guard said.
The Coast Guard’s Joint Search and Rescue Coordination Center was notified of the incident at 07:40 a.m. local time on Tuesday.
The Kallisto has since been towed to the Salamis Naval Base.
Maersk Launceston was not badly damaged and is being detained by the Central Port Authority of Piraeus while a preliminary investigation in being conducted, the Coast Guard said. Reporting indicates that the captain of the containership may have been arrested or detained.
Maersk posted a statement to Twitter:
In Maersk, we are aware of the serious incident involving the container vessel Maersk Launceston, which is owned and managed by J.T. Essberger. We are in contact and have offered our full support to the owners during this time.
Hamburg, October 27, 2020 – Managers John T. Essberger report that earlier today its managed container vessel Maersk Launceston collided with the naval vessel Kallisto off the coast of Piraeus, Greece. Following the incident the Kallisto has sustained severe damage and two of its seafarers have been transported to hospital. There are no injuries on board of the Maersk Launceston. A first assessment of the vessel has not shown damage to the vessel. A further assessment will follow once the ship is a its lay-by berth.
Immediately after the incident all relevant authorities have been notified and the crew of Maersk Launceston have been participating in the rescue operation for the seafarers of Kallisto. The vessel has been requested to stay in the area and is currently at anchorage off the port of Piraeus.
The exact cause of the incident is yet unknown. The Coast Guard have been conducting preliminary interviews with the crew of the Maersk Launceston. Once at lay-by berth vessel will continue to assist with the investigation.
Managers would like to express their concern over the injuries of the crew of Kallisto. Also, the company would like to thank the local authorities for their swift assistance following the incident.
Maersk Launceston is a 2005 built container ship flying the Portuguese flag. The vessel has a crew of 22 on board and was on its way from Piraeus to the Turkish port of Canakkale.
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