Definition of bottoms up
—used as a toast or to tell people to finish their drinks” – Merriam Webster
Unfortunately, today’s headline is not a toast or urging others to finish their drinks, but a note that that the bottom of the container ship Maya is up after it capsized at the dock. Also unfortunately, this is not the first feeder container ship that has wound up in this situation.
Over the past 12 years, 7 different incidents of feeder container vessels capsizing at the dock or shortly after sailing are listed below. Only one comprehensive report, that of MV Deneb in Algeciras, Spain, has been identified from this list. Why have these other incidents with loss of life, loss of vessels and loss of cargo not been addressed through official investigations and reports?
The loss of stability bringing about these capsizes has largely been caused by incorrect loading of cargo on deck. In the case of MV Angeln in 2010, it has been reported that the chief officer specifically informed the master that the vessel could not be loaded properly to provide adequate stability. That this continues to happen indicates that the necessary root causes are not being identified and disseminated.
3 years ago, an article, “Are we fools?” was published on gCaptain. It concerned the latest (at the time) capsize of a feeder container vessel. The very last line was, “When, where and who do you think will be the next to capsize?” The same could be asked again.
Additional Reading and Links
Angeln – Capsize – February 2010 (IMO GISIS report not available)
CIAIM – Deneb Capsize during cargo operations – June 2011 – (IMO GISIS report not available)
UAE – Mona – Capsize – August 2017 – (IMO GISIS report not available)
Indonesia – KM Shippo 16 – Capsize – December 2019 – (IMO GISIS report not available)
Iran – SL Star – Capsize – March 2019 – (IMO GISIS report not available)
Vietnam – Alica – Capsize – April 2021 – (IMO GISIS report not available)
India-Panama – Sea Xpress – Capsize – January 2023 (IMO GISIS report not available)