Container ships have been at the centre of a series of ship collisions and maritime accidents since the start of March. Ships have been damaged in vessel strikes and containers have been lost as navigation accidents, storms and engine failures have taken their toll.
On 3 March, 2011-built container ship MSC Madrid was in a collision with DFDS’ roro cargo ship Primula Seaways near Vlissingen, in the Netherlands. Both ships, sailing in the same direction, were damaged in the accident and the cause has yet to be determined.
However, from the destruction, it looks like a navigation accident, as 61,870 gt MSC Madrid was damaged on the bow and 2004-built, 37,985 gt Primula Seaways sustained damage on the side.
According to Fleetmon, Primula Seaways reached Ghent, Belgium, where repairs were assessed and MSC Madrid was transferred to an outer anchorage for survey and inspection.
This is the second time Primula Seaways has been damaged in a ship collision in just over two years. In December 2015 it was in a collision with Fairmount Shipping’s car carrier City of Rotterdam on the Humber estuary in eastern England.
Other container ships were involved in accidents this month. On 1 March, CMA CGM Africa Three struck berths at a container terminal while leaving the port of Algeciras, Spain. This was during the passage of storm Emma that passed Iberia.
At the end of February, container ship Spica was damaged by a drilling rig in the port of Tenerife. The 2008-built, 9,998 gt ship was berthed at the TCT Terminal de Contenedores de Tenerife. It suffered severe water ingress and a breach of the hull below the water line which was repaired by divers. Drilling rig West Taurus broke from its mooring lines in strong winds and struck Spica and another drilling rig West Eminence.
Meanwhile, on 3 March container ship Eugen Maersk suffered a technical malfunction on the Elbe off Hamburg, Germany. This closed the river and blocked ships for three hours, while tugs were used to secure the ship during repairs. Once the issue was fixed, the 2008-built, 171,542 gt ship was able to continue its route to Antwerp, Belgium.
Another Maersk Line ship was in trouble off Mexico. Maersk Aras had engine failure during a cross-Pacific voyage and reached Manzanillo, Mexico on 1 March. In another incident, Maersk Shanghai reported to the US Coast Guard that it had lost around 70 containers due to high winds and heavy seas off North Carolina on 3 March.