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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Nagasaki Spirit KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 9
source LMIU
type D
volume Y
material
dead 30
link

Collision with Ocean Blessing in Strait of Malacca in 04 27 N 98 42.3 E 19 Sep 1992 Explosion, caught fire, oil spilled Abandoned by crew Fire extinguished 26 Sep Cargo transhipped Towed to Singapore shipyard 12 Dec for repairs. 20-30 dead


source OSIR
type D
volume 3528000G
material
dead
link

Says location is 1.15N.102.56E which cannot be right.


source Ong, Piracy, Maritime Terrorism and Securing the Malacca Straits
type D
volume Y
material
dead 44
link

On the calm clear night of 19 Sep 1992, the 100,000 ton crude carrier Nagasaki Spirit collided with the 27,000 ton container vessel Ocean Blessing. The collision occurred just before midnight at the northern entrance to the Malacca Straits. It was a classic T-Bone collision in which the Ocean Blessing is believed to have been making 21 knots based on the engine room log repeater found in the aftermath, and the V-shaped ripping in the side of the Nagasaki Spirit. A massive fire ensued and at least 12,000 tonnes of crude oil spilled out into the Straits. 44 sailors did not survive to tell the tale of what happened before the collision. The final message of the captain of the Nagasak Spirit however leaves little doubt. Have been fired upon and now have fire in Nos 5 and 6 and central tanks. Abandoning vessel immediately and into two 16 man life rafts and will activate EPIRB in lat 04.33N, long 98.43E at 1623 GMT Sep 19. No time to report further as abandoning vessel No lifeboats were ever found, onboard the Ocean Blessing investigators found only small piles of ashes --- the remnants of human remains, and no remains were found on board the Nagasaki Spirit.

Speculation has it that the Nagasaki Spirit was taken by pirates, and the Ocean Blessing had also been pirated, or was trying to avoid the same, as she was observed by another ship "to move in an erratic manner --- changing speeds from 10 to 20 knots, from side to side, as though the deck watch officer was trying to employ evasive maneuevers to avoid being boarded by pirates".


source Sivamani, The Limos are here to stay
type A
volume
material
dead
link indianavy.nic.in/NavDespatch05/Chapter%202.pdf

In Sep 92, when the tanker Nagasaki Spirit carrying Gulf oil was proceeding on a southerly course in the Malacca Strait, she was boarded by pirates. The ship was looted and the crew thrown overboard. Coming up on the opposite course at the time was the container vessel Ocean Blessing. She too met with the same fate but with the exception some of the crew were locked up in a hold. Thus both vessels were NUC and heading toward each other. The inevitable collision occurred. The Ocean Blessing tore into the tanker's midships. Uncontrollable fire resulted. The Nagasaki Spirit become a charred hulk and sank. The Blessing was badly damaged through explosions. Investigations revealed this ship was carrying dangerous cargo in diplomatic cargo containers consisting of illegal Chinese arms, ammunition and explosives meant for Mid East.


source House of Lords, Semco Salvage vs Lancer Navigation
type A
volume Y
material
dead
link http://www.ipsofactoJ.com/international/index.htm

At about 23.20 hours on 19 September 1992 Nagasaki Spirit collided with the container ship Ocean Blessing. The collision occurred in the northern part of the Malacca Straits. At the time of the collision Nagasaki Spirit was part laden with 40,154 tons of Khafji crude oil. As a result of the collision, about 12,000 tonnes of the Nagasaki Spirit's cargo were released into the sea. Both ships were engulfed with fire. Only two members of the crew of the Nagasaki Spirit survived the fire. All the crew of the Ocean Blessing lost their lives.


source Carpenter, Maritime Piracy in Asia
type A
volume
material
dead
link

Nagasaki Spirit collided with a rogue ship, the Ocean Blessing, which was zigzagging through shipping lanes at the northern end of the Straits of Malacca and possibly under pirate control. The accident [sic] killed all the crew aboard the Ocean Blessing and all but two of the tanker's crew.


source
type L
volume
material
dead
link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9syWzmOkg5U

Video taken from USN ship, late in afternoon. So must have been about 18 hours after collision. The two ships are drifting about 2 miles apart. The weather is clear and dead calm. Blessing is completely gutted, but fire on Nagaski Spirit is mostly confined to port side aft.

A commentator with the handle of terribleOne claims you can see we were the only ship there, we got these as it was getting dark, we pulled no survivors from the ship. We did however pull numerous bodies from the water. All of them had extreme lacerations on their wrist and butts from fisherman that arrived on the scene first. They were going for their wallets and watches. Makes no mention of burn injuries, but does not say what killed them.


source nils koch
type A
volume
material
dead
link http://www.perfectum.se/nagasaki%20navigator.htm

The remains of the port lifeboat can be seen under the davits. The starboard lifeboat was launched but never found. Only two crew members of the Nagasaki Spirit survived, the 3rd Engineer and the 2nd cook. The Nagasaki Spirit Master's dead body was picked up from the sea by an American helicopter and landed on another TK vessel the Mihara Spirit. None of the other crew member was found. The Nagasaki Spirit was repaired and renamed Neptune Leo. All the crew members of the M/S Ocean Blessing were found dead onboard the vessel and there were rumours that there were more bodies found onboard than stated in the crew list.


source CTX
type D
volume 14000M3
material
dead 51
link

There's a great deal of mystery surrounding this collision at the northern end of the Malacca Strait. Other sources including Discovery Channel claim the Captain of the Nagasaki Spirit was kidnapped and the ship put on autopilot. But CTX has communicated directly with the Captain's daughter. His body was brought home and identified by a local doctor.

The purported last message from the Nagasaki Spirit is certainly not verbatim. No tanker master would refer to his tanks in this manner.

Another puzzling point is that this casualty resulted in a important salvage claim dispute which went all all the way to the House of Lords. But in their judgement, quoted above, there is no mention of piracy. The judgement does say that all the crew of the Blessing lost their lives and only two members of the Nagasaki Spirit survived. If the Blessing's crew were not locked up, then most of them should have survived as the fire on their ship would have started in the bow. Similarly, Teekay in discussing the casualty in their annual reports makes no mention of piracy,

CTX feels the best source is Koch, a TK master, who was at the Hitachi yard in Singapore in 1993 when Nagasaki Spirit was towed in. He is quoted verbatim in the entry above. His photos show the penetration on the port side forward of the accommodation. Its more than a third away thru the ship. The angle looks nearly 90 degrees. The port life boat is completely burned. But the pictures also indicate show little fire damage on the starboard side of the accommodation. The key is Koch's statement The starboard lifeboat was launched but never found.

TK's crews are among the best in the tanker industry. Lifeboats launched by good crews in calm conditions in a busy shipping lane do not disappear. CTX's best guess is that the pirates attacked the Ocean Blessing first. The crew was killed or locked up. Their ship was not under control, clobbered the Nagasaki Spirit, and started the fire. But on the Spirit, thanks to inerting, the fire was confined to the port side aft. The crew of the Nagasaki Spirit abandoned ship in the starboard life boat, and were then killed for their wallets and watches, probably by the same pirates that took the Ocean Blessing.

The crew on the Blessing could not fight the fire which eventually gutted the whole ship and killed anyone who was still alive.

At this point this is hopefully informed conjecture. We need to talk to TK, and maybe the two survivors. The crew of the USN ship (maybe Beufort) and others must have info on how the recovered bodies died.

Japanese source says 13000 ton spilled. UK court case says 12,000T of 40,154 tons of Khafi crude on board. Ship was part-loaded.

Estimates of the fatalities are all over the place, but it is pretty clear that all but 2 people of two crews were killed. One source says 51 total killed which seems about right. The crew of a Teekay Aframax would be about 28 and CTX is guess that the crew of a small container ship would be about 25.