The "Alliance St. Louis" has been taken in tow on Jan 18. The tug "Crosby Endeavor" arrived on scene on Jan 17 at 10:45 a.m. with a fire team aboard to clear the "Alliance St Louis"’ engine room for safety. The tug put the cargo vessel in tow at approximately 2:30 p.m. the next day to take it to the Sabine Bank Pilot Station near Port Arthur, Texas.
DeepOcean has secured a cable installation and trenching contract from Nexans for ScottishPower Renewable’s East Anglia ONE offshore windfarm in the North Sea. Under the contract, DeepOcean’s scope is the transport, installation and trenching of export cables. The project will be managed out of the DeepOcean’s Darlington office. Offshore work will commence by 2019.
Cargo ship hijacked by international criminal cartel for arms transport
The "Merbey", belonging to the Moroccan businessman Mohammed Oulahcen was hijacked by an international criminal cartel and used for illegal arms transportaion to Houthi rebels in the Yemen and for cocaine trafficking. Mohammed Oulahcen in partnership with the Portuguese national Jose bought the vessel in the Turkey in 2015. It was renamed, registered under Comores flag and had to sail to Casablanca, but as it came out, his Portuguese partner had other plans. The ship was to be engaged in illegal trafficking of arms and drugs. Mohammed Oulahcen turned to Moroccan authorities, and Turkish law enforcement agencies got involved too, reporting the vessel had been hijacked and relocated to Nigeria. The ship was anchored at Calabar since Aug 25, 2016.
The "Eastern Glamour" suffered engine failure on Jan 17, 2017, south of Yuhuan, Wenzhou, while approaching Wenzhou port with a cargo of coal loaded at the Muara Pantai Offshore Coal Terminal in Yu Huan. The vessel started to drift, but tugs and patrol boats were able to get it under control. The ship was anchored and on Jan 18 at 7 a.m. it berthed at the Yu Huan Terminal.
The "Copenhagen" left the Lindoe Yard in Vigeroe on Jan 18 at 3 p.m. and headed towards Gedser, arriving there at 7 a.m. After a short spell she immediately left towards Rostock, where she berthed at 9 a.m.
Survivors taken to Cebu, sinking site to be cleared from container vans
Captain Napoleon Emphasis and 23 surviving crew members were brought to the Cebu Coast Guard station in the morning of Jan 18 to rest and undergo stress debriefing. The four others were scheduled to arrive in Cebu on Jan 19. A gale warning was issued on Jan 18, prohibiting sea vessels below 250 gross tons from sailing. But the "Meridian Tres" was cleared to leave the Port of Cebu for Tacloban since the vessel ohad a gross tonnage of 2,528.
The lashing of the cargo were also inspected before it sailed. The water was calm although it was windy when they left the port. After six hours, around 8 p.m., extremely strong waves in quick succession pummeled the vessel in the waters near Dawahon Island between the provinces of Bohol and Leyte. Buffeted by strong winds and huge waves, Emphasis immediately called the company’s operations manager and sought permission for them to take shelter at the nearest port. His request was approved. But it was too late as the ship lost its balance following the collapse of its stockpile of 160 20-footer containers and five units 10-footers containers reportedly loaded with fertilizers, a car, and a forklift. The cargo vessel slowly tilted 45 degrees to port side. The 64-year-old captain immediately sent a distress call to nearby vessels which also alerted the Coast Guard stations for possible rescue operations.
A crew member of the "Larcon Iloilo" relayed the distress call to Coast Guard substation in Hilongos town in Leyte which immediately alerted all Coast Guard Stations to get ready for a possible rescue operation. About 9 p.m., he was informed by Maasin Coast Guard Station that Emphasis ordered his crew to abandon ship. The owner was requested to send tugs and clear the area from container vans. The Philippine Coast Guard Marine Environmental Protection Command was sent to the area to monitor possible oil spills. Bunker fuel was reportedly used in the vessel’s main engine while its generators were run by diesel.