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Web site VesselFinder made an animated reconstruction of the collision between Corvus J and Baltic Ace based on AIS positions. The short clip presents a clear picture of what happened.
Corvus J didn’t give way to Baltic Ace as she should in accordance with The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea and kept on her course. Baltic Ace was too late with her action to avoid the collision. Corvus J with her bulbous bow ripped the car-carrier open like a tin can. Car-carries with their huge cargo decks need not much time in case of deck flooding, to get unstable and capsize.
Corvus J and Baltic Ace collision, update and reconstruction
Vessel collided in a position 51 50N 002 56E, North sea, at around 18:15 UTC Dec 5 in a bad weather with strong wind, reportedly there were rain showers during the night. Boxship Corvus J was en route from Grangemouth to Antwerpen. Car carrier Baltic ace was en route from Zeebrugge to Kotka, loaded with unknown number of cars. The car carrier sank shortly after collision, boxship though damaged, remained under own power and was taking part in search and rescue operation. As of 01:00 UTC Dec 6 Corvus J was still in the collision area crusing around at some 2 knots speed, apparently in search and rescue. As of 01:00 UTC Dec 6, out of 24 Baltic Ace crew 13 managed to evacuate to life rafts and were lifted by helicopters, 4 dead bodies were recovered, with 7 crew still missing. Four rescued crew were transferred to the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, seven to Ostend in Belgium. It remains unclear just how many people were on board of Baltic Ace, maybe there were some passengers. Baltic Ace presumably sank just in minutes, meaning the crew or part of the left vessel in whatever dress they’ve had, with a little or no time to get into immersion suits. The temperature of the water in collision area reported to be 10 deg centigrade, with life expectancy from 1 to 6 hours for temperature 10 – 15 centigrade.
Vessel were moving on collision course with Corvus J liable to give the way to Baltic Ace, as having her on a starboard side, but the Baltic Ace was to take actions too, if she saw that Corvus J didn’t give her way or her actions alone weren’t enough to avoid collision.
See map at http://www.odin.tc/news/read.asp?articleID=1597
Car carrier Baltic Ace IMO 9386213, GRT 23498, built 2007, flag Bahamas, manager RAY CAR CARRIERS LTD, Isle of Man. Crew management STAMCO SHIP MANAGEMENT CO LTD, Greece.
Boxship Corvus J IMO 9262895, dwt 8372, capacity 630 TEU, built 2003, flag Cyprus, manager JUNGERHANS MARITIME SERVICES, Germany.
Those who know the nationalities of the crews please advise firstname.lastname@example.org