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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Ioannis NK KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 4
source South African News Reports
type A
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Sinking of the bulk carrier Ioannis NK and the rescue of its crew was reported in near real time earlier today. The headlines alone captured the dramatic of the daring rescue. All crew were safely removed from the stricken ship by South African Air Force helicopters just before the ship sank.

Tug Rushes to Aid of Bulk Carrier - The lives of 20 sailors are in peril in stormy seas 100 miles off the Cape West Coast as their small bulk carrier battles through huge swells with a bad leak.

The salvage tug Smit Amandla left Cape Town harbour just after 7am and rushed to the aid of the 32-year-old Ioannis NK, a 22 000-ton displacement ship fully laden with sugar, after her crew alerted safety authorities in Cape Town. However, an hour later the ship’s master relayed a Mayday call after his crew found they were unable to stem the inrush of water.

Water was flowing into the ship’s number four cargo hold and concerns were that she would sink before help arrived, a spokesperson for the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Cape Town confirmed.

SA Air Force in daring rescue - Cape Town – South African Air Force helicopters airlifted the crew of a stricken ship to safety shortly before it sank off the West Coast on Thursday afternoon.

The Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) said the captain of the bulk carrier Ioannis NK reported at 06:00 that his vessel was “taking on water and listing”.

MRCC spokesperson Sarene Kloren told Sapa two SAAF helicopters, operating out of their Ysterplaat base in Cape Town, made two trips to remove the 20 crew.

Sailors leave stricken carrier just in time - The crew of a stricken bulk carrier had to abandon ship after their vessel began taking on water off the West Coast on Thursday.

The badly listing Ioannis NK then sank before the eyes of a salvage crew, just two hours after the ship’s crew of 20 were taken to safety by Air Force helicopters.

The captain of the ship, which was carrying 22,500 tons of sugar, contacted the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre at 6am on Thursday when it began taking on water and listing. It was more than 150 nautical miles from Cape Town, and 98 nautical miles off Cape Columbine.

At 7am the salvage tug Smit Amandla and the two Oryx helicopters carrying NSRI swimmers were sent from Cape Town to help.

Initially, rescuers planned to remove 16 “non-essential” crew members, leaving four others on board to try to keep the vessel upright, according to Mark Steed, of the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC), but then all were flown to Saldanha Bay. “An assessment was made and it was deemed unsafe for any personnel to be left on board,” Smit spokesperson Clare Gomes said.

The ship was drifting and listing at a 45-degree angle before it sank, MRCC spokesperson Sarene Kloren said.


source TRADEWINDS
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Owner said ship was to discharge in India then go to China for life extension work and 6th Special Survey.


source INTERCARGO
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The vessel, carrying sugar from Brazil to China was not ordinarily defined as an international trader. The vessel reported she was taking on water and listing. All crew were rescued off the southern coast of South Africa.

This source puts the date as 2009/07/23.


source CTX
type C
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This casualty is unusual in that we have some excellent photos of at least part of the hull damage, the capsize, and the sinking.

The photos show a big sea (6 to 8 m) is running. One photo shows rectangular hole starboard side of Hold 4 (ship is geared bulk carrier with 4 holds). The damage extends from a stiffener right at the light load line down to just below the deep load line. Damage is exactly one frame longitudinally. A portion of the loose plate is pealed aft and outboard. The hole is about 2m by 6 m. CTX thinks it would be very difficult for the crew to purposely make this hole in this sea. Corrosion can result in this sort of sharply demarcated holes when the failure is bounded by frames and stiffeners. The failure appears to have been from excess internal pressure, indicating that the No 4 hold flooded prior to this hole being created. CTX suspects the starboard hole was created by sloshing.

Moreover the ship is listing to port and another photo shows the ship capsized to port. The photos indicate the ship is not that deep in the water. This looks like a loss of stability sinking. Sugar is an unusual dry bulk cargo in that it will dissolve in sea water. Apparently, the free surface effect was enough to cause the loss of stability, but some one should do the numbers. But it is quite unlikely that the flag state, Panama, or anybody else, will do so.

There has been considerable speculation that this loss was intentional. CTX thinks this is quite unlikely. No crew would decide to sink their ship in this kind of sea in this location. Best guess is hull failure, likely corrosion related, probably originally on the port side, followed by loss of stability.