11 Thought Dead After International Shipping Collision

 In cargo, International Shipping

Never let them tell you international shipping isn’t dangerous. The dangers of shipping cargo across the seas and oceans from port to port are ever present, even without terrorism or piracy.

MOL Motivator international shipping collision resized 600At about 2:22am on Monday, May 5th, the container ship MOL Motivator 021E collided with the cargo vessel Zhong Xing 2 in Chinese territorial waters.

While the damage to the MOL Motivator was minor and none of its cargo reported damaged, according to a customer info letter from Hapag-Lloyd, the Zhong Xing 2 was not so lucky.

The much smaller cargo vessel sunk with its cement cargo and, much worse, it would seem 11 of its 12 crew members trapped aboard.

Search parties have been looking for the 11 crew members. South China Morning Post reports:

An air and sea search-and-rescue operation co-ordinated by the Guangdong Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre was launched, the Hong Kong Marine Department said. Mainland authorities also deployed a fixed-wing plane to search the area.

From Hong Kong, seven Marine Police launches, three fireboats, two diving vessels and a Government Flying Service helicopter were also involved in the search.

Captain Bruce Wong Ho-man, deputy manager of flight operations with the Government Flying Service, said a helicopter was sent out on two sorties – once in the morning and once in the afternoon.[1]

All this has been to no avail, leading most to believe that the 11 missing crew were trapped aboard and unable to escape before the cargo vessel sank. But the search still continues.

The one found crew member was rescued by a passing fishing boat about a half hour after the collision according to the South China Morning Post.

The South China Morning Post went on to describe the 46-year-old survivor as a mainland man, saying he suffered minor scratches to the arms and legs and was ferried to Hong Kong before being taken for treatment to Ruttonjee Hospital in Wan Chai.

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the accident.

Safety4Sea reported that heavy rain and low visibility are said to have been factors in the collision, but local authorities have not confirmed whether or not this information is true.

Safety4Sea also reports an oil slick has been spotted along with debris from the cargo vessel and container ship collision.[2]

The accident is a tragic reminder of the dangers of ocean shipping for the men and women working hard at sea to transport shippers’ import and export cargo. It’s also a reminder to shippers of the importance of cargo insurance.

While the crew members and cargo of the Zhong Xing 2 were lost, the MOL Motivator was able to proceed to Yantian according to the Hapag-Lloyd customer info letter as it was still able to sail under its own power according to a MOL press release.[3]

The MOL Motivator 021E was then replaced in the SVS Service it was sailing in by the MOL Precision 062E in Yantian as a precaution.

The Hapag-Lloyd customer info letter detailed that the MOL Motivator was phased out after full discharge on Tuesday, May 6th and the MOL Precision was phased in on Wednesday, May 7th.

The MOL Precision is taking over all east-bound export cargo while all the west-bound import cargo had already been discharged in previous ports with the MOL Motivator’s regular rotation.

Here at Universal Cargo Management, we’re taking a moment to pray for or think of the crew lost in this tragic accident and their families as our individual faith allows.

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