Saturday, March 10, 2007

Another interesting Find

( These facts are a little obscure)

I.1.30 Oceanos

The Oceanos sank in rough weather off South Africa on 4 August 1991. It was a 7500 GRT 150 m long Greek passenger liner, built in 1951.

It had 401 passengers and 180 crew on board. Conditions were the worst of the year, with 45 knot winds. At around 21:00 on 3 August, water entered the engine room through a damaged seawater pipe.

The ship lost power and began to drift towards the shore. Watertight doors were closed, but flooding through pipes allowed other compartments to flood. The ship heeled to 20o and was rolling heavily.

The ship sent a Mayday at 23:00, but was advised to keep the passengers on board until
daylight since there were no other vessels or helicopters in the area. However, the ship
appeared to be about to sink, and the master was cut off while checking the stern of the ship.
After 02:00, 2 of the ship’s 8 lifeboats were launched, although with difficulty due to the lack
of power and the severe weather. By about 06:00, about 400 people had left the ship in its 8
lifeboats and some liferafts. Many passengers jumped into the sea.

Passing cargo ships arrived after 05:45 and rescued about 400 people from lifeboats and the
sea. One container ship used its enclosed lifeboat to pick people from the water and transfer
them to an accommodation ladder, although with difficulty due to the cold. Helicopters
arrived at 06:50 and winched the last 180 passengers and crew off the ship shortly before it
capsized at 11:45 on 4 August, 1 ½ miles off the coast. There were no fatalities.

[Comment: 11Puma helicopters from SADF were transported 1000 miles overnight to a temporary base near to
the casualty. A helideck on board would have been useful to speed the evacuation, although the ship may have
been rolling too much to have used it. Since no lives were lost, none could have been saved by this anyway.
Helidecks on the rescue ships would have been no use because the shore base was very close.]
Ref : Hooke, N. (1997) : “Maritime Casualties, 1963-1996”, LLP, London.
Lloyd’s List

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