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IOM Registry Reports On Tanker Collision Off Malaysia

by Robert Lee,, London

27 August 2009

During the afternoon of August 18, 2009, the Isle of Man Ship Registry received reports that an Isle of Man registered vessel had been in collision with another vessel in the Malacca Straits, to the north west of Singapore.

Further information has shown that the bulk carrier Ostende Max (38489gt), registered in Douglas, was in collision with a Liberian registered tanker Formosaproduct Brick (70,426 dwt) in the Malacca Straits some 20 miles off Port Dickson, Malaysia.

The collision happened at GMT1430 (2130 local time) on August 18, 2009, and there are no reported casualties on the Ostende Max, with a small fire on the forecastle being quickly extinguished. The Ostende Max, along with other vessels, stood by the tanker that was reported to be on fire and listing.

Two casualty investigators from the Isle of Man Ship Registry travelled to Malaysia on August 19 to begin a preliminary investigation into the possible causes of the incident.

On August 19, a Isle of Man Ship Registry spokesperson said: “This is an unfortunate incident and we are sending two investigators from the island to Malaysia today to carry out an investigation into the possible causes, there are a number of news reports regarding the incident however, we cannot currently confirm these and we have no further information at this time.”

On August 21, the Isle of Man Registry reported on new information received from the Maritime Authorities in Malaysia.

The Malaysian authorities advised that the fire onboard had been fully extinguished at 0455 local time on August 20, 2009, and that boundary cooling measures were undertaken for a further 24 hours before the ship was allowed to be boarded.

As of August 21, of the 25 reported crewmembers onboard the tanker, 9 were yet to be accounted for by the emergency services but it is believed that they are still on board the vessel. Most of the crew were removed by passing vessels and the emergency services.

There has currently been no reported oil spill from the vessel, with the local environmental and maritime authorities monitoring the situation.

The Ostende Max is currently anchored outside the port limits of Port Dickson. According to the Malaysian authorities, the vessel has sustained damage to her bulbous bow and also suffered a minor fire on her fo’csle, which was extinguished by her crew. Two crew members were taken to hospital with superficial burns incurred whilst extinguishing the fire, but have since been released after treatment.

Ship Registry investigators from the Isle of Man, Malaysia and Liberia are to collaborate in an investigation to establish the potential cause of the incident.

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