Tanker collision off China


I thought double hull tankers we designed so the 3rd world had somewhere to put their stolen fuel.
Problem is its not connected to the inerting system
Or, " we wash it with oil as its too hard to paint"


here’s the latest: https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-china-shipping-accident-japan/stricken-iranian-oil-tanker-drifts-into-japans-economic-zone-coast-guard-idUKKBN1F10CW


This latest photo sure doesn’t make it look good that there was safe refuge anywhere. If all the tanks were properly inerted even with a source of ignition at the point of collision how does it spread so far? Has any story mentioned where the collision was located? Midships, the pump room?


looking at this Chinese image it seems the front part of the tanker on starboard side was hit.

Sanchi aerial view


Thanks for asking. Re M/S Saint Claire she was, as I recall, a late 1970’s roro that was on fire for five days at Marseille. Cargo of butter was on fire! The whole deck house fwd was destroyed, heat deformed the hull like a banana but … the engine room aft was intact. We bought the wreck and transformed it into a ropax M/S Al Salam 89 that then carried 1 000 000’s of pilgrims from Suez to Jeddah. Most of them as deck passengers. Then rules changed - deck passengers are not permitted today; everyone must have a bed or a pullman seat, etc.
One of our fully loaded ropaxes taking on a pilot was hit by a bulkcarrier exiting Suez canal and sank - 1 crew and one pax drowned (out of 1500).
Another ropax caught fire in the port of Douba - 1 crew died (out of 1500). The ship was towed out to sea and sank. The big tragedy was 2006 with M/S Al Salam Boccaccio 98 - http://heiwaco.com/as98.htm - that mysteriously sank in the middle of the Red Sea a dark night with about 1500 persons aboard. >1000 drowned. I am convinced it was sabotage.
I agree I was worried carrying so many persons on rather small ropax ships but in principle they were unsinkable two-compartment ships with double sides, LSA 50% in lifeboats and 50+10% in life rafts - all under davits, etc. And Egyptians are very good seamen.

Re topic the Iranian crew are still listed as missing, the tanker is afloat and the engine room is a very safe place of refuge. Rescue people should board the tanker and have a look!


Another ferry that was “salvaged” from a burned wreck was Sally Albatross (ex-Viking Saga):

In this case, the fire was confined above the car deck. The remains were salvaged and used to build the new Sally Albatross (today Celestyal Crystal):

While the machinery may survive a fire, I would not be so certain about people especially after the fire has been raging for several days. Even with all the fire dampers closed, there’s only limited amount of oxygen in the ship. Furthermore, the scorched paint indicates that it has been rather hot inside the engine room - breathing that boiling paint can’t be too healthy.


Hmm, you have gone off piste and then some!
There are 31 crew missing with only a single person recovered from the water which I for find exceeding puzzling.

I don’t mind conjecture but keep it focussed!


The Sinchi has now eventually sunk, but leaked cargo is still burning on rhe surface:


Most articles about the collision mention that the crew of CF Crystal was “rescued” but do not mention whether they were evacuated from their vessel or just survived and stayed on board. Assuming the latter, by the time they had established their ship was not sinking, Sanchi was probably already ablaze…

This article has some photographs from onboard the burning tanker:

Has the lifeboat been launched or are the davits in stowed position and the fiberglass boat has just melted away?


Looking at pictures of the Sanchi in happier days, it would appear that the davits are in stowed position.

From pictures of the damages suffered by the Port bow of CF Crystal the impact force must have been substantial:

Looking at the picture previously posted by Drill Bill, it appears that the Sanchi has been hit on Stbd. side forward:
Sanchi aerial view
But there appears to be several places where the other hull is breached, possibly from explosions?

PS> I another picture I have seen there appears to be a bit of “debris” from the missing lifeboat hanging in the fall. Possibly the hook and release assembly? (Sorry, unable to copy pix)


Anyone find any AIS records?


This is from this site, Chinese language.

The CF Crystal looks like it was traveling SW having passed the Tsugaru Strait for China. The Sanchi was northbound for S. Korea.


Using 31 N and 126 E local sunset (-9) is about 1700 hrs. Collision reported at about 2000. It would have been after dark.

Sometimes heavy concentrations of fishing boats can be encountered there, a fair amount of deep-sea traffic as well. It’s possible that the two vessel did not detect the other because of many other lights and radar targets. A lot of F/V there use AIS, both on the boats and gear so possible a lot of clutter.

With that many lights and radar contacts it can be difficult to sort out the slow moving or stopped F/V from the faster deep-sea ships. Focus on dodging through the F/V at close range can cause a large vessel further out be missed.

Using target trails helps pick up which contacts are big and fast moving.

The time of collision was reported as 2000 hrs - might have been near watch change.


some more on the oil spill contamination: http://www.noc.ac.uk/news/sanchi-oil-spill-contamination-could-take-three-months-reach-mainland


Condensate or natural gasoline does not really produce oil spills. You can use to run your car with it. The exhaust will smell, though. Probably the collision allowed some 1000’s of tons of it to flow out and aft and when it was ignited it produced a fireball that killed everyone inside the deck house aft at once.
I remember that, when we discussed it at the IMO/Marpol/BLG 1990/97 to evaluate the safest oil tanker design (after the Exxon Valdez incident), statistics showing that fire killing seamen in tanker collisions was a greater risk than oil spills … but that it was better ignored. Reason? Oil spills kill sea birds, etc, and the public is very concerned about it. Few gives a damn about seamen.


Classical or Classic?


Marine Ex is reporting: Two Bodies and VDR Recovered from Sanchi


Tanker SANCHI sank in the afternoon Jan 14 Beijing time in position 28 22N 125 58E, after explosion at around 1200, followed by high flame up to 200 meters height. Tanker developed starboard side list of some 25 degrees and finally, sank at around 1500 UTC. All crew believed to be dead.


a sad image + also one that puts a face on all the seamen who lost their lives: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DThPbtTWAAEeM1-.jpg:large


So true, it’s gone from the main news channels…