The 51 meter long, 910 dwt tug VB Antartico sank off the northwest coast of Portugal. The tug was sailing from Cartagena to La Coruna with a floating platform under tow when it encountered heavy seas. The tug then lost power by a mechanical failure and went adrift. The master of the VB Antartico contacted the Portuguese Rescue Service for assistance. Before any rescue craft could reach the tug, it was pulled by the current until it struck the floating platform. The collision ruptured the hull of VB Antartico allowing water ingress into the vessel. As the tug settled lower into the water, the 11 crewmen on board hurried to the lifeboats. Luckily, the crew were quickly rescued by the nearby vessels LNG tanker Arctic Voyager and the tanker Elizabeth. Why did the tug lose power and sink? The owners released a statement stating the sinking was “by reason and due to unpredictable weather.” Other reports stated that the crew lacked the necessary expertise. This is supported by several maneuvers done by the tug’s master along with that the tug went to sea without enough fuel. The report suspects the vessel ran out of fuel which led to the power loss. The VB Antartico was built in 1977 as the Shoei Maru.
The high speed ferry Fløyfjell suffered damage to its hull when it allided with a floating dock at the port of Tromsø, Norway. The Fløyfjell’s hull are carbon-based and not made from steel had small hole about the size of a fist. The owners of the ferry stated that the damage can occur to any vessel that goes too hard against a quay and has nothing to do with the hull. This response is due to sister ships of the Fløyfjell had suffered major damage to hulls due to a design error. The Fløyfjell had just started service this month.
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