Middle EastOperations

Five-vessel pile up along the Suez

An engine failure on the 5,086 teu Aeneas on Sunday sparked a dramatic five- vessel pile up on the Suez Canal, with three ships suffering serious prangs.

The accident happened when the Aeneas lost propulsion while on a southern bound convoy. Three bulkers – Panamax Alexander, Sakizaya Kalon and Osios David – behind the boxship collided in the ensuing mayhem and the canal was closed for a number of hours. Tugs were deployed to move the ships and as the operation was just about complete the 9,120 teu NYK Orpheus struck the Panamax Alexander.

According to tracking data from Splash partner Marine Traffic, the three bulkers are still anchored in the Great Bitter Lakes, likely needing inspections and repairs, while the two boxships have been able to keep going on their voyages.

It proved a very busy weekend for Suez authorities with a two-month old suezmax, owned by Alafouzos family company Okeanis Eco Tankers, damaging its hull while transiting the canal on Saturday.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


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