Cargo Ships continue to run aground in 2019

This time it was the Cdry Blue which ran aground on December 21st just off the coast of South Western Sardinia. The 8,100 dwt vessel was hit by strong winds and crashed into a cliff in Torre Cannai, Sant’Antioco.

Cdry Blue with crew being winched off

Or could we be talking about the Songa Iridium. This containership ran aground on the morning of the 27th December near Istanbul. The crash has led the authorities to close the Bosphorus, A crowded waterway which runs through the heart of Turkey’s largest City

Or could we be talking about the general cargo ship LI FUNG. This vessel left Taiwan early on the 24th December bound for Busan. on the 27th the master of the ship reported heavy starboard list. The ship is presently berthed in Keelung port and shows heavy listing.

How regularly do ships run aground

Ships run aground for many reasons. In August of this year the Hadeland ran aground twice. Trying to leave the port of Riga in Latvia it grounded, re-floated by it’s own means to re-beach a second time shortly after moving off. In this instance the Master was found to be intoxicated.

Heavy seas contribute to groundings but human error and badly maintained vessels seems the main cause. A Russian cargoship which ran aground near Falmouth in Cornwall in December 2018 is still in the UK as it is still deemed unfit to sail. The vessel which suffered Anchor movement in rough seas was deemed to have over 100 serious faults. Although the vessel has been sold and re-named it is still deemed unsafe to sail.

Nevado 35 makes it 3 ships ran aground this week

Another cargo ship to run aground was the Nevado 35. On Christman day morning it ran agorund in Sarkoy off the Northern coast of Turkey. En-route from Turkey to Italy attempts to re-float initially failed and it will need help to get moving.

Commercial Impact but few fatalities

From the reports in the press most vessels which run aground manage to escape with few casualties. If in rough or heavy seas crew may need winching off the vessel. Generally though vessels which run aground are in little danger of capsizing. They do have an impact though on commercial trade with vessels taken out of comission.

It is also interesting that the number of vessels which run aground are mainly commecial cargo ships. You rarely hear of passenger cruise liners running aground. The last one I can find was back in 2015, The Norwegain Dawn off the coast of Bermuda.

Where it will hit everybody involved in the movement of goods by sea is in insurance premiums. If vessels were safer and we had less incidents of cargo being lost would insurance be cheaper. Certainly when there are pay-outs on vessels we are talking big numbers. Even worse when a vessel runs aground and insurance is not in place what are the freight forwarder or shipper left with.

Certainly something to think about when you next book your seafreight shipment based on the “BEST RATE” or “CHEAPEST RATE”

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