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.