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Cargo ship damaged after collision off Istanbul

Last Updated: Friday, January 20, 2012 - 23:53

Ankara: A cargo ship brushed against two
anchored vessels during severe weather off the coast of
Istanbul on saturday and was left tilted to one side and taking on
water, officials said.

A senior maritime official said the disabled ship is not
in danger of sinking, but most of its crew members were
evacuated.

The cargo ship`s struggle comes during a time of
heightened attention on ship safety following last week`s
grounding of the Costa Concordia cruise ship off Italy`s
coast, an accident that killed 11 people and left 21 missing.

Also today, a freighter ran aground off a Dutch beach.
In the Istanbul area, the Sierra Leone-flagged Kayan-1, an
86-metre freighter carrying empty containers, tilted on its
right side after drifting and colliding with the two anchored
freighters in strong winds.

"It cannot sink," Salih Orakci, head of the General
Directorate of Coastal Safety, told reporters. "But we are not
able to intervene fully because of the weather conditions."

Orakci said the only apparent option at the moment was to
pull the ship aground, if the captain approves. "But if the
weather improves, we may have other options," he added.

Three captains of the ship remained aboard to steer the
ship, which is pumping out the water, authorities said. Ten
other crew members were evacuated. Five maritime officials
boarded the Kayan-1 to assess the situation, then left the
vessel.

The ship was trying to moor due to the severe weather when
it got dragged and brushed against two other cargo ships: the
Netherlands-flagged Slochterdiep and Tanzania-flagged Adria
Blu. The Kayan-1 came to a halt near the shore at a depth of
9-metre, Coastal Safety said on its website.

Authorities have cancelled several scheduled ferry trips
in the Sea of Marmara and in the Bosporus, the narrow waterway
that bisects Istanbul, due to strong winds and high seas.

Separately today, a Philippine-registered freighter ran
aground off a Dutch beach after its anchor slipped in an
overnight storm.

The 155-metre Aztec Maiden was carrying no cargo when it
drifted onto sand off the North Sea coastal town of Wijk aan
Zee, 20 kilometres west of Amsterdam, the Dutch Coast Guard
said.

The 21 crew members stayed on the ship. Tug boats will
attempt to pull the vessel free at high tide around 1730 IST.
Spokesman Peter Verburg told national broadcaster NOS that
the Coast Guard was closely monitoring the ship for any fuel
leaks.

PTI

First Published: Friday, January 20, 2012 - 23:53
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