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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Bright Artemis KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 3
type A
volume 4200T
material crude
dead 0

146,463-ton crude oil M/T Bright Artemis, Mina Al-Fahl, Oman and Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia for Japan with 249,997 tons of crude, owned by Japanese carrier Mitsui O.S.K. Lines -- suffered damage to hull and spilled estimated 4,200 tons of oil as she attempted to rescue the crew of a vessel on fire in the Indian Ocean responding to distress signal from the 10,208-ton M/V Amar 290 miles west of the Great Nicobar Island between Sri Lanka and Sumatra Island. M/V Amar swept by wind wave and struck M/T Bright Artemis, causing a gash of about 1 meter high and 5 meters wide on her starboard. Crews from both ships are safe. M/T Bright Artemis now sailing eastwards, adjusting its speed to minimize any turbulence.

source MOL Press Release
type A
volume 4500T

On the morning of August 14 (LT), Bright Artemis received a distress signal from the "Amar" (10,208 ton, Singapore flag), which was on fire, and immediately proceeded to the position about 290 miles west of the Great Nicobar Island in the Indian Ocean.

At about 1:00 p.m., (3:00 p.m. JST), Amar was swept by a wind wave and struck Bright Artemis. The Bright Artemis has a gash of about 1 meter in height and 5 meters in length on the starboard (approx. 1.7 meters above the water line). The amount of oil spillage from damaged 2 tanks is still under investigation, but is estimated to reach to about 4,500 tons.

Bright Artemis carried 249,997 tons of crude oil from Mina Al-Fahl (Oman) and Ras Tanura (Saudi Arabia), and was headed to Japan. According to the report from the Bright Artemis, the location of the accident is located 5 degrees 46 minutes north (latitude) and 89 degrees 04 minutes east (longitude). Amar crew members on board were rescued by other vessel and are confirmed to be safe. There is no report of any engine malfunctions or any injuries from the Bright Artemis.

The Bright Artemis transferred oil from the damaged tanks to other tanks in order to stop further oil spills. As a result, the oil surfaces have been lowered below the gashes of the damaged tanks and thus, the possibility of further spillage has been prevented. The vessel is currently proceeding eastward, adjusting its speed to minimize any turbulence. Maritime Port Authority of Singapore and the Indian Coast Guard have been informed of the incident. On August 14, MOL established Emergency Control Headquarter headed by President Ashida,

source CTX
type C

MOL is to be congratulated for a far more informative owner report than usual. (The standard practice is that there is none.) Even gives the all important height of the damage. This is almost never included in even port state investigations. (Notice the Cargolaw entry which was probably copied from the MOL press releases, drops this crucial bit of information.) MOL's relative openness is probably due to the fact the ship was on a rescue mission, and could hardly be blamed.

But the owner report is far from complete. It is not clear why the Artemis was so close to a burning ship. Normally lifeboats are used to take off crew from a striken vessel. A single screw VLCC has nil maneuverability at drifting speeds. This could well have been a contributory factor.

The ship was a Marpol single hull. We have no depth of penetration; but, since the ships were probably parallel, this is a rare open water collision in which double sides almost certainly would have helped.

The damage was quite high in the tanks. A loaded VLCC will have a freeboard of only about 5 meters, If the ship were a pre-Marpol single hull, she probably would have spilled a lot less.

There is normally very little excess cubic on a loaded Marpol VLCC. The ship may have transferred cargo to ballast tanks --- the MOL press release is a little coy in this area. This would have been both very intelligent and very illegal. Moreover, the nonsensical prohibition against any connection between cargo and ballast tanks would have delayed the crew in making this transfer.