On January 23, the 76 meter long, 1893 dwt bitumen tanker Reem 5 sank in the Arabian sea some 100 nautical miles off Karachi, Pakistan. The Reem 5 was en route to Hazira, India from Basrah when it suffered water ingress in the engine room. Unable to contain the flooding with the vessel’s pumps, the Reem 5 quickly began to sink. The crew sent out a distress call and prepared to abandon ship. The Indian Coast Guard received the message and directed the 197 meter long, 58849 dwt bulk carrier Ganga K to the scene. The Ganga K arrived and safely transferred 13 off the Reem 5. No reports of injuries. The Ganga K remained on scene to the monitor the Reem 5. The Reem 5 later sank the following day. Reports state the Ganga K is proceeding to Mumbai with the 13 crew of the Reem 5.
On March 6, the 353 meter long, 162051 dwt container ship Maersk Honam caught fire in the Arabian Sea near the Agatti Islands. The Maersk Honam had departed from Singapore and was enroute to the Suez Canal when fire broke out in the one of the containers in the cargo hold. The 27 crew on board began fire fighting efforts to contain the blaze, but the fire quickly spread to other containers. Flames engulfed the main deck and the fire was out of control. The Maersk Honam sent out a distress call before the crew abandoned ship. Twenty-three crew members were later rescued by the cargo vessel ALS Cicero responding. Several crew members had sustained injuries and required medical attention. Four crew were reported as missing and presumed to be still on the Maersk Honam.
Vessels on scene with the Maersk Honam reported several explosions from the intense fire on the container ship. Flames from the main deck reached 25 meters high nearly reaching the Maersk Honam’s bridge.
Indian Coast Guard has launched search and rescue operations to find the missing crew. Specialized vessels have been dispatched to assist while authorities coordinate salvage efforts with the vessel’s owners.
The 115 meter long, 7544 dwt tanker Gulf Oasis became disabled in the Arabian Sea near Pakistan. The tanker loaded with vegetable oil was en route to Sharjah, UAE from Sri Lanka when it suffered engine failure. The crew were unable to restart the engines and requested assistance. Authorities dispatched a tug from Port Quasim which took the tanker under tow back to Port Quasim. No reports of injuries, damage or pollution released.