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Samco Europe (2)
Collision "Samco Europe" and a container vessel
( All Photos Copyright Chauncey Li )

( All Photos Copyright Chauncey Li )
( Photo Copyright Piero Corona )

Collision Between a Container Ship and a Total-Chartered Oil Tanker in the Gulf of Aden

No Injuries, No Pollution

Dec. 10, 2007
During the night of December 7 to 8, the very large crude carrier (VLCC) Samco Europe and a container ship the MSC Prestige, were involved in a collision in international waters south of Bab el-Mandeb Strait, in the Gulf of Aden. Built by a South Korean shipyard, the Samco Europe is a new, double-hulled oil tanker delivered in April 2007. It is carrying a cargo of crude oil from the Persian Gulf to Europe.
The collision did not cause any injuries or pollution. The structural damage was confined to the Samco Europe’s bow, and the cargo tanks were not affected.
Owned by Samco, the ship flies the French flag and is operated by V.SHIPS France. The tanker is under time char-ter to Total, which owns the cargo it carries.
After steering southeast at low speed, the Samco Europe is currently stabilized away from traffic in this area and is waiting for the vessel’s owner and operator to complete arrangements for operations to lighten the cargo.

Type of casualty: Collision No. 45-342
Title: Report of safety investigation Samco Europe - MSC Prestige
On Friday 7 December 2007, at 23h47 TU, French VLCC SAMCO EUROPE and container ship MSC PRESTIGE, flying Panama flag, have been involved in a collision 16 NM eastsouth-east of « Bab el Mandeb » strait Traffic sepa-ration scheme. Weather conditions were good : easterly winds force 3, good visibility . SAMCO EUROPE, coming from Lavan Island (Iran), was heading 300 to Ain Sukhna (Red sea) at a speed made good of 16,3 kts. MSC PRESTIGE, coming from Jeddah, was heading 101 to Port- Louis (Mauritius) at a speed made good of 24 kts. Vessels are 7 miles apart, SAMCO EUROPE had MSC PRESTIGE on her portside bow , their route should cross at more than 2 miles when MSC PRESTIGE started to alter her course slowly on her starboard. Two minutes later, SAMCO EUROPE started to alter her course slowly on her portside. Despite VHF contacts, the two OOWs failed to coordinate their actions. A few seconds before the collision, the captain of SAMCO EUROPE, alerted too late by OOW, tried a “hard to port manoeuvre”. The collision happened between the stem of MSC PRESTIGE and the star-board bow of SAMCO EUROPE. A second shock, softer, damaged the SAMCO EUROPE at the lifeboat and star-board bridge wing level. None of the crew on both vessels were injured and no pollution was found. The damage on both vessels were very important.