Reprted that CHRISTOPHER 83/83784gt with coal cargo sank north of the Azores
after engine failure and flooding of forward hold,
crew of 27 lost in yet another tragedy of this nature.
She was completed at Hoboken as FEDERAL SKEENA
and then sailed as LA CORDILLERA for Dreyfus 1995-2000.
London, Dec 24 - Following received from Ponta Delgada MRCC, timed 0836, UTC:
Bulk Christopher (83784 gt, built 1983) lost communication with owners at 2300, UTC, Dec 22,
after reporting engine stopped, one bow hatch open and vessel taking water in heavy weather.
Vessel's last reported position lat 41 02N, long 29 19W, at 1900, UTC, Dec 22.
Winds easterly force 7 (near gale), with seven-metre seas.
A Coast Guard vessel sent to the scene Dec 23 found a patch of fuel oil.
Search continuing today, using aircraft and vessels.
London, Dec 24 - A press report, dated Dec 23, states:
Bulk Christopher, with 27 crew on board, has gone missing in rough seas off the Azores
and is feared to have sunk, Portuguese rescue officials said today.
The vessel disappeared yesterday evening about 150 nautical miles north of the Azores island of Graciosa.
A search has so far proved fruitless, according to the Azores naval command
quoted by the Lusa news agency.
The crew of the Christopher, which was loaded with coal,
informed her owner yesterday evening that the vessel was taking in water
through a forward hatch in seas with waves of up to seven metres, rescue services said.
No other communication has been received from the vessel since yesterday evening.
A French vessel in the area and an aircraft failed to locate the vessel,
which the Portuguese naval command said had probably sunk.
St.Michael's, Azores, Dec 24 - It has been reported locally that bulk Christopher,
fully loaded with coal, is considered missing since 1900, local time, Dec 22,
in a supposed position abt. 150 miles north of Graciosa-island.
The vessel has on board 27 crew members.
The vessel was in contact with her owners advising that she had stopped engine
and that forward compartment has been flooded through a ventilator. After that the owners
have made several attemps to make contact with the vessel but have not succeeded.
According to local source it as advised
that the above possible reported position cannot be made more correct since all contacts
of the vessel with her owners were lost suddendly.
Searches are being made by the Portuguese Airforce arcraft,
one P3 Orion and 2 Puma helicopters under adverse weather conditions,
but unfortunately nothing has yet been found. The search continues today.
The Norwegian general cargo Matisse, being also in the area,
is making several calls by VHF and UHF but no reply received. -
Lloyd's Agents. Ponta Delgada, Dec 24 - At about 1530, local time, today,
one liferaft and one lifejacket, from bulk Christopher,
found adrift in lat 41 00.3W, long 30 04.2W, by tank Stolt Spray.
Both liferaft and lifejacket being collected by Stolt Spray.
Lloyd's Agents. Ponta Delgada, Dec 25 - Understand a second life raft
from bulk Christopher has been found by general cargo Regal Star at about 1330, local time, today,
in position lat 40 58N, long 03 35W.
It was reported that an oil spot was also seen in the area.
Unfortunately no signs of the vessel and her crew members were found.
Also understand that all the search operations have been cancelled.