Five Dead, Six Missing After Car Carrier Baltic Ace Sinks in Collision

Following the sinking last night of the car carrier Baltic Ace, the bodies of five sailors have been recovered.  Six of the crew are missing and presumed dead in the icy waters of the North Sea. The 485-foot long Bahamain-flagged   car carrier, Baltic Ace, collided with the container ship  Corvus J,  on Wednesday night  65 km (40 nautical miles) off the coast of the southern Netherlands.  Of the 24 sailors aboard the Baltic Ace, thirteen were rescued, eleven by helicopter and two by ships participating in the rescue.  No injuries were reported in twelve crew on the 134-meter (440-foot) long Cypriot flagged, Corvus J,  which was seriously damaged but not in danger of sinking.  The Baltic Ace is reported to have been carrying 1,400 cars.

VesselFinder.com has posted an AIS track of the collision:

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: The collision between BALTIC ACE and CORVUS J [AIS Historical Data]

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4 Responses to Five Dead, Six Missing After Car Carrier Baltic Ace Sinks in Collision

  1. great, the video is good one

  2. CAPT. D. Peter Boucher, MN(Ret.) says:

    Business Habit: The video is NOT good and could be edited by AIS possibly due to the tragic loss of life. The video shows both ship tracks until about 0.20 secs. then it jumps forward to apparently after the impact took place. The Corfus J is shown as a southerly bound vessel which alters her course to her starboard (right) in compliance with Rule 15 of the Nautical Rules of the Road. There is then the jump at 0.20 secs and the northerly bound Baltic Ace is shown pointing NW (approx.) indicating that she could have altered course to her port (left) in a clear violation of the Nautical Rules of the Road. It is also reported that the Corfus J had severe bow damage which could be a further indication of the two ships relative position at impact. We shall have to wait until a complete AIS video is made available and/or the European Union Marine Accident Investigators complete their inquiries.
    Good Watch.

  3. CAPT. D. Peter Boucher, MN(Ret.) says:

    Further update confirming the above comment. In the newspaper Algemeen Dagblad a fisherman reported observing that the Corvus J did turn to her starboard in accordance with RULE 15 and the Baltic Ace turned to her port in violation of meeting vessels RULES. The Baltic Ace therefore crossed the bow of the Corfus J and was impacted.
    Good Watch.

  4. Eric Herman says:

    Have worked in the Car Carrier business for 15 years. Sadly this is another total loss and another prime example of lack of training and failing to recognize crew cohesion in the face of multiple nationalities aboard merchant vessels.

    The class rules on these vessels needs to be more strict. Only two companies that I know in the business actually study in detail damage stability and incorporate this into their design. (But no free advertising for them here). Other just follow the minimum class rules.

    At the end of the day this is a pure money issue. Cheap crew, cheap ship (even though new) and as you say Capt. Boucher, turning to port was the absolute wrong move.

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