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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Manila Transporter KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 3
source Japan FSA
type L
volume
material
dead 0
link

Took water in No 3 hold due to crack in port side in lat 29 43.7S, long 64 19.8E. Subsequently abandoned and sank in July 1991.


source ATSB
type L
volume
material
dead 0
link http://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/1991/MAIR/pdf/mair32_001.pdf


source CTX
type D
volume
material
dead 0
link

The ATSB report talks about an interesting exchange of messages between the owner and the captain prior to loading. The owners were quite concerned given the recent loss of the Mineral Diamond and Alexandre P on the same route (Australia to Europe via COGH) and called for loading all holds. Perhaps they also knew something about the condition of the ship. The Master appears to have talked them out of this. Loading all holds reduces local shear forces but at the cost of much higher stability, which means faster roll and larger dynamic forces, especially on the side shell. The GM calculated that loading all holds would result in a GM of 14 m, while alternate hold loading would result in a GM of 7.6 m. The Master may also have been thinking about crew comfort. Their practice was to load iron ore alternate hold, but the ship had loaded iron ore all holds at least once before, and had experienced very uncomfortable roll. In the end, she loaded alternate holds (1, 3, 5, 7, 9).

It did not help. The port side shell of Hold 3 failed anyway. The ship encountered heavy swell, but apparently nothing much over Force 6-7. A crack in this hold got progressively worse. The crack was described as L shaped with the horizontal arm 10 m long, located about 10 m below the deck. They could not keep up with the flooding. The No 3 hatch cover came loose, probably because of sag. The crew abandoned ship via the lifeboats in lat 29.42S, 64.16E. and were rescued by another bulk carrier on parallel course.

The crew were very lucky. An Australian inspection at the load port had found the life boat hooks seized, and the ship was detained until this was fixed.

The ship remained afloat for another 31 days, but eventually sank while under salvor tow.

CTX suspects that the ship's steel was in the same condition as the lifeboat hooks. But without access to Class/owner records, we just don't know.