Union Neptune

Union Neptune

The 87 meter long, 2376 dwt freighter Union Neptune sank off the island of Oleron, France.   The Union Neptune was sailing from Bordeaux for Rotterdam with 2082 tons of iron oxide when it lost stability while off was off Charente-Maritime.   The crew contacted rescue authorities that the six crew on board were preparing to evacuate to the the lifeboat.   Rescue authorities sent out a Dauphin helicopter which lifted the 6 crew to safety.   The sea-tug Abeille Languedoc also reached the scene and took the listing Union Neptune under tow.   Travelling at low speeed, the two vessels tried to reach port of La Pallice.   However, the Union Neptune listed over and sanked after a few hours.   The Union Neptune had 25,000 liters of diesel fuel and 2,000 liters of oil on board when it sank.   Authorities have asked the owners to take steps to prevent any dangers from pollution released from the sunken vessel.    No injuries reported, but a single crewman was treated for hypothermia.

Link to Video of the Union Neptune

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One thought on “Union Neptune

  1. Dear all, I served on Union Neptune in 1998 as a Chief officer. This ship was not constructed for the Bay of Biscay at all !!! Before the Polish Crew + me (Czech Rep.) boarded, Union Neptune sailed much safer in sheltered seas, operated by more crew members of western nationalities. No facsimile charts equipment on the bridge. We started sailing from Holand to Castilion de la Plana in Mediterranean. (SW of Barcelona) It is hard to describe how we felt and suffered in severe winter storms at the bay of Biscay, where ship of such a construction was not supposed to operate. Nobody minded our reports and claims. With iron oxide loaded, the question is about – when such an accident happens. We curried much “safer” cargo – some phosphate I guess. I disembarked about 2 days after my contract had expired. I just politely refused to continue working in such extremely dangerous conditions.
    6 crew members means only one. One captain + one officer, keeping the watch 6hours/6hours rest. This is called “2 watch system” and is equal to work as a slave, tired close to the death. How I was punished? After my holiday, I got unexpected offer = to become the captain of m/s Union Neptune. I refused it and boarded to a different ship as a chief officer. (awful cement currier) It was my last contract in my life.

    Currently I sell satellite telephones and teach ship´s stability at the Bratislava Maritime School. Se my lessons.
    http://www.s-consult.cz/menu/namorni-skola
    With my glass stability model, I never miss the opportunity to demonstrate what might happen in case money overpower the knowledge and experience.
    It is very difficult to say NO, I am not going to stay in a dangerous ship.
    In fact Union Neptune itself was a pretty good maintained ship, constructed for sheltered conditions and rivers. As a river captain, I liked first part of the contract up to the moment not responsible people decided to start sending Union Neptune across the Bay of Biscay.
    The pictures you see was exactly that I was pointing out, forecasted and why I refused to captain this ship. Fortunately, nobody died this time. The crew was really very lucky to survive.

    Ex Union Neptune crew member
    C/O Vladimir Stadler

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