Shipwrecks, fire on board, loss of containers and oil leaks. Over the past 10 years, there have been several major disasters with a container ship in mind. Consider the ONE Apus’ huge container loss in 2020 or the MSC Flaminia fire in 2012. The list below gives an idea of how things can go wrong with container ships.
ONE Apus – 2020
When? December 1, 2020
What: Containerverlies (1816 containers)
Boat size: 364.20 x 50.60 meters, 138.611 dwt, 14,026 no
The ONE Apus was en route from Yantian to Long Beach. The ship was caught in a storm over the Pacific Ocean and began to roll heavily. As a result, he lost a lot of containers.
Of the 1,816 containers that ended up at sea, 64 contained dangerous cargo. The 54 containers with fireworks were striking. The damage from the loss of the container was initially estimated at $ 50 million, but it soon became apparent that the damage was approaching $ 200 million earlier.
On average, ships around the world together lose a total of 1,382 containers per year, so the ONE Apus container loss was extremely high.
MSC Zoe – 2019
True: north of the Wadden Islands
When? January 1 and 2
What: Containerverlies (342 containers)
Dimensions of the vessel: 395.5 x 59 meters, 199272 dwt, 19224 no
The MSC Zoe was en route from Sines in Portugal to Bremerhaven in Germany in early 2019. On the night of January 1 to 2, the vessel lost containers at two times. North of Ameland, the ship lost 297 containers and a little later 45 more in German territorial waters.
There is still a lack of clarity on the cause of the overshoot. The inclement weather likely knocked the vessel off course and it was in contact with the bottom. But the research conducted by TU Delft did not come to an unambiguous conclusion.
The containers ended up in the Wadden Sea and the North Sea. This resulted in 3.2 million kilos of waste in these waters, a quarter of which has still not been recovered in 2021.
Maersk Honam – 2018
True: Arabian Sea
When? March 6, 2018
What: fire that killed five people
Dimensions of the vessel: 353 x 53.5o meter, 125.521 dwt, 15.282 teu
The Maersk Honam is en route from Singapore to Suez when a fire broke out in the hold on Tuesday March 6, 2018 in the Arabian Sea. The crew were unable to extinguish the fire and an alarm sounded.
Three hours after the fire broke out, the ALS Ceres was the first on the scene to provide assistance. 23 crew members of the Maersk Honam loaded with 7,860 containers are secured. Four crew members were unable to get off their ship and were killed. One of the 23 evacuated crew members also later died of his injuries.
The 353 meter long container ship has a capacity of 15,282 teu. The Maersk Honam was commissioned a year before the fire. With the engine room and engines left intact in the fire, it was decided to rebuild the ship at a shipyard in South Korea. The ship is back in service, now as the Maersk Halifax.
The reconstruction costs, 30 million euros, contrast sharply with the rescue costs borne by Smit Salvage and Ardent at the time. They are estimated between 400 and 500 million dollars.
Also read: The 7 biggest Dutch superyachts
Comfort MOL – 2013
True: Indian Ocean
When? June 17, 2013
What: the ship breaks down and a fire breaks out
Dimensions of the vessel: 316 x 45.60 meters, 90,613 dwt, 8,000 no
When the Mol Comfort was en route from Singapore to Jeddah in inclement weather, a crack occurred amidships on June 17. The ship broke in two and the two parts floated because the compartments were closed. The crew can be rescued.
A week later, the tugs of Smit and Nippon Salvage arrive. At this time, the two parts, front and rear, are already very far apart. The bow is towed, but the aft hangar is plagued by bad weather.
The stern rescue gets worse. The containers fall off the deck and water begins to flow into the holds. On June 27, 10 days after the sinking, the stern sank and took 1,700 containers with it.
The rescue of the bow is not going smoothly either. The towing link broke and a fire broke out on July 6. Due to bad weather, it is not possible to extinguish the fire. On July 10, the bow also sank, of which little remained.
The damage is estimated by insurers at 227 million euros. The MOL Comfort is a ship in a series of six. The sister ships were inspected following the maritime disaster.
Also read: The 10 largest container ships in the world
MSC Flaminia – 2012
True: Atlantic Ocean
When? July 14, 2012
What: fire that killed three people
Boat size: 299.99 x 40 meters, 85823 dwt, 6750 no
MSC Flaminia is en route from Charleston in the United States to Antwerp. On July 14, a fire broke out in hold 4, an explosion ensued during the extinction.
After the explosion, the crew evacuated to the DS Crown tanker, which was sailing nearby. Of the 23 crew members, 22 managed to disembark. The first officer died of injuries already on board the tanker. Another crew member later died.
Smit Salvage has been asked to recover the damaged ship. One of the tugs that was used was the Carlo Magno, also responsible for smoothing the Ever Given.
Smit towed the vessel, but no European port would allow towing afterwards. It was only after five weeks that Germany dared to open the waters.
Rena – 2011
True: off the north coast of New Zealand
When? October 5, 2011
What: shipwreck after stranding on a reef.
Dimensions of the vessel: 235 x 32 meters, 47231 dwt, 3351 no
The Rena was en route from Napier to Tauranga, two New Zealand ports, when it struck the Astrolabe reef. The container ship, with more than 1,300 containers, remained stranded.
After the grounding, 350 tons of oil escaped from the ship, with serious consequences for nature. The mission of the Dutch salvage companies in Svitzer was therefore to pump the oil from the ship to avoid further pollution.
The turbulent weather caused waves five meters high. This made the rescue difficult.
On January 8, the Rena broke. The stern nearly sank two days later. So far, continuous checks are carried out to ensure that the sinking does not damage nature further. This can happen if parts still come loose.
The captain of the Rena was arrested at the time. He was accused of bad seamanship. It later emerged that the captain and the mate had both forged documents. Both were sent to prison for seven months.
Studio Schuttevaer discussed the consequences of a strong wind on large container ships.