The "Salvage Titan" which was en route to Malaysia from Oieka, ran aground at Barangay Marzan in Sanchez Mira, Cagayan, in the morning of Nov 28, 2016, with 16 Filipino crew members on board. The ship as towing a barge loaded with a crane. Due to strong waves and inclement weather, it drifted in the sea off Sanchez Mira and eventually ran aground off the coast of Sitio Calingkingan in Brgy. Barzan, Sanchez Mira. The tug was manned by Capt. Christopher Guebalangen; six of his crew members received medical assistance after they were rescued by the Philippine Coastguard.
Repoort with photo:
The Coast Guard wants to know why a siren failed to go off as water flooded the engine room of the "Alaska Juris". When water first began flooding into the ship on July 26, a network of bilge alarms should have unleashed a cacophony of sound to alert the crew that something was wrong.
“The siren can wake the dead. Anywhere on the vessel you can hear the alarm,” said Ben Eche, an electrician who did shore-side work on that alert system, in testimony Tuesday during Coast Guard hearings in Seattle into the sinking of the vessel.
But crew testified the alarm did not go off, a troubling development that prompted Coast Guard officials to question Eche about how the system operated. Eche said he had tested the alarm system while the Alaska Juris was in port, and it worked properly.
Eche speculated, in his testimony, that it may have malfunctioned because someone deliberatively disabled the system. That might have happened because someone didn’t want to be bothered to respond to the alarm if small amounts of water frequently entered the bilge. But Eche didn’t venture to state a possible motive.
Word-of-mouth ended up serving as the alarm once the engine room flooded, and everyone was able to assemble on deck, don survival suits, evacuate into life rafts and make it safely to shore.
Coast Guard investigators are trying to determine, during two weeks of hearings that began on Dec 5, what caused the seawater to rush into this below deck area.
On Dec 6, an Alaska-based welder testified about repairs to the "Alaska Juris", an aging vessel built in the 1970s that had a patchwork network of below-deck piping. Some of it was thin-walled pipe from Japan, according to the testimony. Though some had been replaced, Ian Bagley, of Alpha Welding, confirmed in testimony that the vessel’s chief engineer had put in a request for a major overhaul of the piping system.
Bagley said he felt it was safe to go out on. But he described the boat as pretty average, “probably a bit dirtier but there are a lot of old factory trawlers out there."
The Swedish Coastguard managed to drain about 10 % of the 600 liters oil on board of the "Zjawa IV" on Dec 6 after an attempt to pull the ship, which has a depth of about 2.5 meters, had failed the previous evening and the ship flooded completely. The boat has made a long journey from Miami, via the Azores and Norway before it grounded at Måkläppen. The final destination was Gdynia. The police questioned the master and mate in the evening of Dec 5 and started a preliminary investigation regarding negligence in maritime traffic. On Dec 6 it has closed down as there was no longer any suspected crime. The master was breathalyzed with negative result. The question why the ship ran aground remained to be investigated. It was relatively severe weather and ot was probably due to faulty navigation.
The Coast Guard has launched a major environmental rescue operation to prevent fuel from leaking out. The process was complicated as the tanks were below the water. Måkläppen is a sensitive natural area.
The ship's owners have contacted their insurance company and the hope was that the boat could be raised immediately, perhaps as early as Dec 7. Only when the fuel is drained one can see how much damage the boat suffered. Actually the "KBV 003 - Amfitrite", "KBV 034" and "KBV 499" were at the grounding site.