Image from news.bbc.co.uk
Image from news.bbc.co.uk

 

A car shipping vessel loaded with over 2,800 brand new cars sunk into the depths of the fog bound English Channel after it collided with another boat.

The Norwegian carrier named Tricolor had 77 containers with 2,862 motor cars when it hit another container ship named Kariba which is 30 miles at the east of Ramsgate.

“The incident happened after Tricolor went to Zebrugge, Belgium to load its cargo and was travelling to Southampton”, stated Wilhelmsen Lines owner’s spokesman; Per Ronnevig. “We can’t give the exact figure for its cargo’s value but it will definitely cost several millions of dollars. We are still figuring out the exact amount since we still need to find out the cars’ make yet”, he added.

The collision incident happened last February 28 at 1:30 am at the east of Ramsgate. Tricolor which was built in 1987 collided with Kariba; known to be a Bahamas registered vessel.

“There were no reported injuries since Tricolor’s crew were asked to abandon the ship”, Donver Coastguards’ spokesman said.  “The captain, together with his 22 Filipino crews was saved by lifeboats before the ship sunk into the deep sea”, he added.

“The men were taken to Dunkirk and they are safe and sound”, France’ coastguards reported.

The other ship; Kariba incurred severe damage and is now sailing to the port. Its crews are still on board. Both the Belgian warship and French coastguards are present in the area to help out.

An emergency towing vessel owned by the coastguard named Far Turbot is also getting to the scene along with the other tugs.

Tricolor measures 49,792 tons with 190 meter length while Kariba is 20,829 ton with 175 meters length. According to a French coastguard, Tricolor is currently submerged at the bottom of the sea but at low tide, the vessel appears to be partially submerged.

To prevent pollution brought about by the vessel’s fuel, a barrier was set around the area just in case the boat’s fuel will leak. As per Mr. Ronnevig, Tricolor has 2,000 tons oil fuel that powers the ship. But no fuel leak has been noted yet. Hence it will not pose any safety threat to the shipping area.

As for Kariba, its damage is currently being assessed at Belgium’s Antwerp port. The cause of collision is still subject for investigation by the French authorities but the process has been delayed because of the presence of a thick fog in the area.

The whole incident serves as a reminder to all car manufacturers for the need to choose a safe car shipping company when transporting their products.