Container ships collide in Sydney storm


A major storm has left two container ships in peril after a collision in Sydney, Australia, snapping the mooring lines of one 67,000-tonne container vessel and causing it to shave the mooring lines of a third vessel.

Hapag-Lloyd’s vessel – the Kiel Express – broke free from its mooring in Port Botany as winds reached 126km/h, causing a trail of destruction.

Jason Sellars, a chief engineer on one of six tug boats called out for the emergency, said: “I've been in the maritime industry for close to 30 years and I've never seen anything like this. The operation lasted some nine hours.”

Source: Sunday Morning Herald

The Hapag-Lloyd ship cut the mooring of the OOCL Hong Kong, sending it free. The stern of the Kiel Express then collided with a stationary Safmarine vessel, the Makutu. The Kiel Express then swung around to collide side-by-side.

It is understood that the OOCL Hong Kong is undergoing repairs after its stern was punctured by the bollards on the wharf as the vessel swung out after its mooring was cut.

Philip Holliday, chief operating officer of the Port Authority of New South Wales, said shipping operators had been warned to put out additional mooring to secure their vessels ahead of the storm.

Source: Sunday Morning Herald

While investigations continue, the ships appear to have suffered only superficial damage, while two cranes that were hit will be able to resume operations.

DP World, which operated the dock where the vessels were moored, said it would undertake a full investigation.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority is also conducting an investigation to ensure the vessels are seaworthy, a spokeswoman said.

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