Five Dead, Six Missing After MSC Containership Collides with Fishing Vessel Off Ecuador

The fishing vessel Don Gerardo II seen after colliding with the 366-meter MSC Regulus (built 2012). Photo: La Dirección Nacional de los Espacios Acuáticos
The fishing vessel Don Gerardo II seen after colliding with the 366-meter MSC Regulus (built 2012). Photo: La Dirección Nacional de los Espacios Acuáticos

Five people have died and six others are reported missing after an MSC containership collided with a small fishing boat in international waters off the coast of Ecuador.

The incident involved the 13,100 TEU MSC Regulus, operated by Mediterranean Shipping Company, and the Ecuadorian fishing boat Don Gerardo II. The victims were all crew members of the fishing vessel.

According to reports the two vessels collided just after 5 a.m. Saturday approximately 216 nautical miles southwest of Puntilla de Santa Elena, Ecuador.

A search and rescue operation involving authorities in Ecuador continued throughout the weekend.

Photos from the scene show the small fishing boat partially sunk and tied up to the MSC Regulus, which was at anchor after the incident.

The MSC Regulus was sailing from Callao, Peru to Lázaro Cárdenas, Mexico when the accident occurred. A statement from MSC said immediately following the accident its crew alerted the relevant authorities in both Ecuador and Peru and launched a search and rescue, with some wounded being brought aboard the containership for treatment.

“As a family-run company, MSC is deeply shocked and saddened by the deaths and injuries that have occurred in connection with this tragic incident. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the fishermen’s families and their loved ones,” MSC said in a statement.

The company said relevant authorities in the investigation would have the full cooperation of MSC.