WEEKLY MARINE INCIDENTS

Cocaine Smugglers Sink Their Own Ship To Evade Prosecution

Spanish authorities intercepted a merchant tanker carrying 3,000 kilos of cocaine in the Bay of Biscay – and in an unusual twist, they claim that the vessel's crewmembers sank their own ship in an attempt to avoid prosecution.  The interdiction was the result of a multi-month investigation into a smuggling organization based in Pontevedra. The scheme involved transporting cocaine to a point near the Galician coast, where it would be transferred to smaller vessels. The small bunkering tanker Nehir fit the suspected operating profile, according to the Guardia Civil, and when an opportunity arose to conduct an intercept, officials boarded the vessel in a pre-dawn raid off Ribadeo.

Crew flooded and capsized tanker carrying 3 tons of cocaine, Bay of Biscay

intercepted and boarded by Spanish Civil Guard and Police teams some 120 nm off Cabo Penas, Asturias, Spain, Bay of Biscay, according to Spanish media reports published on Feb 24, citing official statements, accomplished by video. Some 3000 kilos of cocaine were found, but what’s much more thrilling, is crew attempt to sink tanker, by opening all valves in engine room. Teams managed to board tanker anyway, seized 9 crew and cocaine, and left tanker, which reportedly, later capsized, with her bottom remaining above waterline. Tanker wreck is said to be drifting under constant surveillance, crew and cocaine being disembarked in Spain. Tanker AIS records are missing, there are records of two days in Jan, when she was anchored in Morocco waters. As officials said, tanker was trading in Med and sometimes, was crossing the Atlantic.

Ferry Boatswain Killed By Mooring Line, Messina

61-year old boatswain of ro-ro passenger ferry ELIO was killed by a mooring line in the morning Feb 24, when the ship was mooring at Messina, Italy. It is not known if the line broke up, or snapped.

Cargo ship collided with commercial fishing boat, 6 people injured, japan

General cargo ship ASAHI MARU collided with commercial fishing boat at around midday LT Feb 23 off Chiba Prefecture coast, northeast Honshu, Japan. Fishing boat bow was seriously damaged, but boat managed to return to port under own power. 6 people on board of fishing boat, including 4 anglers, were injured. ASAHI MARU was en route to Kushiro port, but had to interrupt voyage and divert to Kashima, where she arrived later on Feb 23.

General cargo ship ASAHI MARU, IMO 9746839, dwt 1600, built 2015, flag Japan.

Turkish freighter ran aground on Greek island in Aegean sea

General cargo ship; ASTOL ran aground on northeast coast of Pserimos island, Dodecanese islands, Greece, Aegean sea, early in the morning Feb 26, while en route from Iskenderun Turkey to Azov Russia. As of 0530 UTC Feb 26 the ship remained in the same position, with no tug yet in sight.