Maersk Containership Grounds in Southern Italy

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 143
January 10, 2017

Gustav Maersk aground in the Strait of Messina, Italy, January 10, 2017. Photo credit: Italian Coast Guard

A 366-meter-long Maersk Line containership ran aground early Tuesday while transiting the Strait of Messina in Southern Italy.

The Italian Coast Guard confirmed the Denmark-flagged MV Gustav Maersk ran aground overnight near the town of Torre Cavallo.

AIS shows the track of the Maersk Gustav. Credit.
AIS shows the track of the Maersk Gustav. Credit.

The grounding occurred as Gustav Maersk was sailing from Rijeka, Croatia for Gioia Tauro, Italy, according to Maersk’s website.

An inspection of vessel showed no sign that the hull had been breached, the Coast Guard said. No pollution has been observed in the area.

The vessel was eventually pulled free with the assistance of three tugs from nearby ports of Messina and Milazzo. It was later escorted the ship to the port of Gioia Tauro, located just to the north.

The video below shows a tug pulling the Gustav Maersk free:

The Coast Guard said that prior to the grounding, the ship was contacted by the Vessel Traffic Service in Messina. 

The cause of grounding is currently under investigation.

AIS shows the Gustav Maersk alongside in Gioia Tauro as of 11 a.m. EST.

Photo: Italian Coast Guard
Photo: Italian Coast Guard

A spokesman for Maersk Line provided us with the following statement regarding the incident:

On Tuesday 10 January at 02.43 AM local time, our container vessel Gustav Maersk grounded in the Messina Strait, Italy, 2017. Assisted by three tugs the vessel was successfully refloated at 7.30 AM local time and proceeded by own power to Gioia Tauro. All crew is safe and accounted for and no pollution was reported. The vessel was en route from Rijeka, Croatia, to Gioia Tauro, Italy. In Gioia Taura the damage to the vessel will be assessed and potential contingency plans for the cargo be carried out.

We have initiated an investigation of the incident. Initial findings do not indicate that any technical failure caused the incident. We will await the investigation before making any final conclusions.


  • TEU (Nominal): 9038
  • Built: 14 Oct 2008
  • IMO No.: 9359038
  • Call Sign: OUJK2
  • Class:ABS
  • Flag: Denmark
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