MSC Containership Grounds Departing Singapore
One of MSC’s ultra-large containerships grounded off Batam after departing Singapore. Reports indicate that there were no injuries and pictures show the vessel sitting on an even keel although there were fears that it might be a more serious incident.
Officers from the maritime forces in Indonesia told the local media that an “evacuation” process was underway raising concerns that the 24 crew were being removed from the vessel, the MSC Faith (149,831 dwt). It appears that the official was referring to the process to secure and refloat the vessel as an evacuation.
The four-year-old container ship, which is 1,200 feet long, was departing Singapore late on January 31. The ship, which is registered in Liberia, has a capacity of 14,336 TEU and was bound for Yantian, China. However, while in Batam waters the officials said the containership ship ran aground in waters with a depth of 8 meters. Some reports are saying the ship had a draft of 12 meters.
Officials indicated that a patrol boat was attending to the ship. An initial survey showed no leaks or oil in the water and the crew was all reported safe, reducing the fears that a potentially serious incident was unfolding.
The local authorities are reporting that an underwater survey has been ordered to inspect the hull and scope the extent of the situation. The grounding was outside the shipping lane with traffic being advised to proceed with caution in the area but not being blocked.
Update: The vessel was refloated and moved to the anchorage to undergo further inspections. As of February 2 she remains in the anchorage. Local authorities are saying that the vessel encountered heavy seas crossing the Malacca Strait, slowed due to the sea conditions, and was taken off course by the strong currents.