CARGO SHIP GROUNDS ON TRICOLOR WRECK
A 5,000-ton German-owned cargo vessel, the Nicola, has struck the sunken wreckage in the English Channel of the Tricolor, a Wilhelmsen Lines car carrier that capsized Saturday after colliding with a containership.
“The Nicola ran aground on the submerged hull of the Tricolor at 1:10 a.m. today,” Per Ronnevig, a Wilhelmsen spokesman in Oslo, told American Shipper on Monday.
The Nicola, registered in the Netherlands Antilles, did not breach its hull and was refloated later in the day, Ronnevig explained.
As soon as 18-foot waves and high winds subside in the English Channel, divers will extract bunker oil remaining inside the Tricolor. “There was about 2,000 metric tons of bunker oil left,” Ronnevig said.
The 49,792-ton Tricolor and the 20, 829-ton Kariba, a containership registered in the Bahamas, collided in heavy fog early Saturday, about 30 miles east of Ramsgate, Kent.
The Kariba, severely damaged, headed to Antwerp with the Tricolor’s master and two officers on board. A tugboat took the Tricolor’s remaining 21 crewmen to the French port of Dunkirk. No casualties were reported on either vessel. The car carrier, operated by Wallenius Wilhelmsen, developed a 15-degree list after the collision and capsized in about 27 meters of water.
The Tricolor, which was carrying 2,862 cars – a mixture of Saabs, BMWs, and Volvos – and a few tractors, was on its way from Zebrugge, Belgium, to Southampton and then Baltimore, Ronnevig said.