Twenty-one seafarers were evacuated after two bulk carriers collided off Yangtze River in China on 23 January.
The incident, which happened around 3.35 am local time, saw the 2004-built 48,821 dwt bulk carrier Omega, owned by Turkish company Gamma Denizcilik Nakliyat colliding with 1997-built 46,645 dwt Mirabella. The latter vessel is operated by a Lebanese company, Safe Sea Services.
Mirabella was carrying iron ore from Oman to Taicang, China, while Omega was moving steel billets from Singapore to Jiangyin, China.
The accident resulted in damage to cargo hold No. 5 in Omega, causing the ship to be flooded. Its 21 crew members, helped by the seafarers on Mirabella, were moved to the latter vessel, which was itself drifting southward and was in danger of capsizing.
The Shanghai branch of the Maritime Safety Administration, China’s de facto coast guard, was alerted and sent a patrol vessel to the scene, which was 16 nautical miles north of the Yangtze River estuary. The East China Sea Rescue Bureau also deployed two rescue vessels, a tug and a salvage vessel.
The East China Sea Rescue Bureau also sent a helicopter, which air dropped two rescue crew onto the Omega. Thereafter, the rescuers dropped double anchors from the distressed vessel to prevent it from sinking.