MARITIME

1 April 2021: Indian Ocean

Ship Captain Angelo Capurro likely contracted Covid-19 and began showing symptoms on the second day of his journey on the MV Ital Libera cargo vessel. Five days later, the 61-year-old was confined to his cabin and could not get out of bed. The captain was also the designated medical officer leaving no one else to help. He died six days later. The dilemma: the cargo ship was without a shipmaster, there was a dead body onboard with no way to store it and a possible Covid outbreak on the ship. The ship was unable to find a port that would accept the corpse due to the circumstances of the illness and pandemic, making the ship stranded for six weeks off the coast of Jakarta, Indonesia while looking for a suitable place to dock. The situation was not resolved until June 11, when the body of the captain was returned to Italy, his home. The state of the body was in very poor condition since the ship did not have proper storage for such a situation. The son of the captain reportedly said that his father could have possibly survived the illness with appropriate care. Since the pandemic began there have been ten additional instances of deaths at sea with the bodies being held on board, denied disembarkation to repatriate the bodies, although none of the others were from covid.

MARITIME

24 June 2021: Off the Coast of Grand Turk/Turks & Caicos

The remains of 20 people were found in a boat in the waters of the British territory, the Turks and Caicos Islands. Fishermen saw the boat adrift and approached it. It is unknown what they were doing and who they are. How they died is also a mystery at this time, but authorities said there didn’t appear to be foul play. Police Commissioner Trevor Bottins released a statement saying they think the boat was from outside the Caribbean region and that although it was found near Turks and Caicos, they do not believe it was their intended destination. The boat was found about six miles off the coast of Grand Turk. “A very distressing scene yesterday which my officers dealt with professionally and with great dignity and humanity,” said Commissioner Bottins.

MARITIME

27 June 2021: Hong Kong, China

A fire in a Hong Kong marina Sunday morning spread quickly sinking ten cabin cruisers and ignited fuel tanks along a line of moored boats. Eventually, the fire was extinguished. Authorities there said 16 vessels were caught fire, including those that sank, but there were no casualties. The fire began around 2:30 am and took firefighters more than six hours to put out, reports say. Exploding fuel tanks were captured on video followed by thick, black, billowing smoke. Dozens of people were moved out of the boats and nearby boats.

MARITIME

8 July 2021: Hong Kong

China’s ports are experiencing a large backlog which experts say could impact the supply chain for months to come, even though contracts have been extended and some ships haven’t seen land in 18 months. Months at sea without a break has taken its toll on crews, with fatigue and mental illness a threat to safety, reports say.The pandemic has thrown the shipping industry into chaos with covid outbreaks cropping up at ports like the one in the Chinese province of Guangdong, a busy container port. Canceled flights, locked down communities and suspended trade along its coastline has created a large back log. Access to ports is restricted and with planes grounded, it is difficult to move workers to swap crews.

MARITIME

7 April: 113 miles southeast of Cape Cod

The Coast Guard medevaced an injured fisherman 113 miles southeast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Wednesday. At approximately 3:34 p.m., Coast Guard District One watchstanders received notification from a crewmember of the commercial fishing vessel Motivation, home-ported in Cape May, New Jersey, reporting a 50-year-old crewmember experiencing shortness of breath and a fever and requested assistance. A Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew launched and safely hoisted the fisherman at approximately 6:50 p.m.The fisherman was transferred to EMS who transported him to Cape Cod Hospital for care. Weather on scene was 16 mph winds with six-foot seas.

MARITIME

7 April: En Route to Rotterdam

The Baltic Tern, a boxship en route from the Port of St. Petersburg in Russia to the Port of Rotterdam, reportedly lost five containers in rough seas and heavy weather. The containers lost included two tank containers, one full of acetone, a low flash point chemical, and the other was carrying used cooking oil, according to Ron Corstanje, spokesman for the Dutch Coast Guard. Another lost container was carrying pellets, as well as a box with paper and an empty container.

MARITIME

6 April: San Juan, Puerto Rico

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized 96 pounds (44 kilos) of cocaine within a cooling vent of a container on board cargo vessel M/V GH Pampero calling the port of San Juan from Rio Haina, Dominican Republic. The estimated value of the seized cocaine is $1.3 million. “Smugglers continue find means to conceal their illicit drug loads into the international supply chain”, stated Noel De Jesus, acting assistant director of Field Operations for Border Security in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. “Our officers’ expertise, along with the utilization of all available tools, resulted in the detection of these narcotics. Our communities can feel safer knowing that the men and women of CBP are securing their borders.” A CBP Contraband Enforcement Team boarded the vessel for a routine inspection of containers using non-intrusive inspection technology. One container was further inspected opening the container’s cooling vent access panel, where CBP Officers discovered forty-one (41) brick shaped objects, which tested positive for cocaine.

MARITIME

5 April: Ålesund, Norway

A yacht transport ship began listing and called for help 60 nautical miles west of Ålesund, Norway. The cargo ship was reported to be the MV Eemslift Hendrika belonging to Starclass Yacht Transport. The company offers yacht transport between Norway and Turkey. The Norwegian Joint Rescue Coordination Center received a distress signal from the vessel, which said they had 12 crew members on board. Three helicopters and two vessels were sent to assist and all crewmembers were rescued. The ship is abandoned and listing approximately 30 degrees.

MARITIME

4 April: Dhaka, Bangladesh

At least 27 people were killed when a cargo ship and a ferry boat crashed off the coast of Dhaka, Bangladesh Easter Sunday. The Sabith Al Hasan ferry crossing the Shitalakhsya River, just south of the city. The cargo ship did not stop according to authorities. They are searching for it as we went to press. Local media said it was cargo ship SK-3. Around 20 passengers jumped off the ship and swam to shore. Local officials said the vessel capsized and sank with at least 27 onboard.

MARITIME

2 April: Unknown Location

A family out for a relaxing sail became entangled with a yacht. Their 20ft sail boat became entangled with a Russian billionaire’s £360million mega-yacht when they decided to get a closer look. The small craft’s sailors were eventually able to extricate themselves from the yacht.