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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Berge Istra KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 3
source http://www.gexcon.com/index.php
type D
volume
material
dead
link

On December 30, 1975, the oil/ore carrier M/S Berge Istra (Solberg, 1981) sank in the Molucca Sea. Two of the crew were rescued. They reported a rapid series of three massive explosions followed by the immediate sinking of the ship. In October, 1979, the sister ship M/S "Berge Vanga" disappear in the Atlantic Ocean. Practically nothing is known about that incident. No one was rescued.

The rapid sinking of the Berge Istra indicates that a gas explosion in the double bottom of the ship ripped the ship structure open, and water flooded the double deck and the engine room.


source HOOKE
type A
volume
material
dead 30
link

One of the two survivors, Imeldo Leon, reported that he had been one of five men painting on deck when at 1645 on December 30, an explosion occurred on the aft side of Berge Istra, causing her to take a severe list. Then only 15 seconds later a second explosion occurred. The five men attempted to launch a life raft, but 30 seconds later a third massive explosion erupted on the vessel. Leon and the other four painters were all thrown into the sea by the force of this explosion, with the Berge Istra being blown apart and sinking immediately. In the water he found a liferaft on which he managed to climb. He then saw Estisanto Terrodomo Lopez, floating unconscious, and managed to drag him on to the raft. No other survivors could be seen. The two ate fish and drank rainwater for the 19 days they were adrift before being rescued.


source CTX
type D
volume Y
material
dead 38
link

These two sisterships ships were VLCC-sized OBO's; ships that can handle both oil and dry cargo. They had a structure that is very similar to a double hull tankers. The double bottom is for all purposes the same.

A Norwegian Master who had served on these ships told djw1 they did have leaks into the double bottom. Surveyors check for such leaks by shining a mirror down the ullage hole into the double bottom when it has ballast in it. If there is any oil on top of the ballast water, a trained eye can see it in the beam of sunlight. To fool the surveyors, the crew would put a large bucket of water under the ullage hole. The surveyor's mirror would see only the clean water in the bucket.

After the Vanga disappeared, Bergesen the owner took all the sisterships out of the crude oil trade. Henceforth, they traded only as dry bulk carrier. A little monument to these two crews used to stand in the entrance of the Bergesen office. Don't know if it is still there.

These two casualties indicate the hazard associated with cracks from double hull cargo tanks to double hull ballast tanks are real. Double hulls have already killed 80 people.

Spill would have consisted of bunkers plus slops, but we have no volume. Woinin says the ship was loaded with 188,000 tons iron ore.

Spill would have consisted of bunkers plus slops, but we have no volume. Woinin says the ship was loaded with 188,000 tons iron ore.

Molucca Sea may be where the two survivors or picked up but cant be where the explosions occurred. Ship probably went through Lombok and was rounding Mindanao.