MMA investigating Dubai tanker crash

Malta Maritime Authority carrying out full investigation of Jebel Ali incident.

Fire and flume of smoke could be seen from the shore.
Fire and flume of smoke could be seen from the shore.

The Malta Maritime Authority (MMA) is carrying out a full investigation of the incident which saw a Maltese-registered oil tanker involved in a collision with a container vessel off the coast of Jebel Ali, Dubai, on 10 February.

The crash resulted in a devastating fire and flume of smoke that could be seen from the shore.

The event occurred after the Sima Saman container vessel, registered in Singapore, collided into the side of the MV Kashmir tanker due to restricted visibility, according to the MMA.

The MV Kashmir, which was extensively damaged by the collision, is believed to have been carrying roughly US$8.8 million worth of oil condensates. MMA said that two tanks on board the tanker were ruptured when the impact occurred roughly 8km from Jebel Ali Port, and that both ships caught fire as a result.

“Both the tanker and the container vessel are safely at anchorage. As a pre-cautionary measure our spill booms are deployed around the tanker, although no spill has been reported or is expected,” a senior spokesperson from DP World, operator of Jebel Ali Port, said at the time of the incident.

“Fortunately there were no casualties – two crewmen were rescued from the sea with slight injuries. Damage to the two vessels is being assessed and decisions will be taken by owners today about next steps. Meanwhile, the authorities are investigating the cause of the accident, with the full co-operation and support of DP World,” they added.

Although reports have stated that no spill had occurred, an aircraft operated by Seawings was in the area shortly after the collision, reporting that a viscous material was coming from the port side of the ship and burning in the water.

“The tanker had a gaping hole in the mid-ship port side, and there appeared to be viscous material in the water, which was alight with flames that I would say were about 20m high,” said Cameron Leslie, chief pilot of Seawings.

Both vessels are now anchored off the Jebel Ali coast, thanks to poor weather conditions restricting their safe passage back to port.

The investigation by MMA continues.

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