The 229 meter long, 25765 dwt car carrier Asian Empire caught fire in the Pacific Ocean some 740 kilometers south of Shionomisaki, Japan. The fire started in the vessel’s storeroom and quickly got out of control. Unable to contain the blaze, the crew sent out a distress call before the 24 crew abandoned ship into the vessel’s two life rafts. Coast Guard coordinated efforts with the refrigerated vessel Asian Adonis changed course to the scene. The Adonis was able to recover all the Asian Empire crew from their life rafts. There were no reported injuries. The Asian Empire crew were taken to Saipan. Reports state the Asian Empire was still ablaze and adrift. The Asian Empire was en route to Panama with a cargo of vehicles.
On April 15, the 228 meter long, 79677 dwt bulk carrier Ornak was driven hard aground off Virginia Beach, Virginia. The Ornak had been at anchor in Chesapeake Bay when wind increased and changed direction. The Ornak’s anchor began to drag. The crew attempted to restart the engines and turn the vessel, but the bulk carrier was drifting closer to shore. A second anchor was dropped, but it didn’t hold. The Ornak went hard aground a few hundred yards off shore. No reports of injuries to the 22 crew on board, damage or pollution released. The Ornak was released by the aid of tugs on the following rising tide. Divers inspected the hull and was allowed to proceed to the Portsmouth terminal to load its cargo of grain.
- USCG Responds to Collision and Grounding in Lower Chesapeake Bay (worldmaritimenews.com)