Vessel Capsizes in Albany

Wednesday, December 10, 2003
A motor vessel capsized in the port of Albany NY yesterday as it was in the process of loading operations. The Netherlands Antilles registered motor vessel Stellamare is owned by "Jumbo Navigation NV.” At the time of the accident there were 18 crew members on board, all of Russian nationality, 15 of which could be rescued from the water or from the vessel. Unfortunately three crew members are still unaccounted for. "We fear for the lives of the missing crew members as the water temperature is very low," says Jumbo spokesman Van der Heul. "Our prayers and thoughts are with them and their loved ones." Divers were employed in and around the vessel. However they have so far not been able to find the missing crew members. One of the rescued crew members was hospitalized in an Albany Hospital, but he has in the meantime been discharged from the hospital. The vessel is a so called "heavy lift" type, equipped with 2 derricks of each 180 mton safe work load. It has a combined capacity 360 mton. Stellamare was in the process of loading a heavy component of a power station, weighing some 300 mton, when the vessel unexpectedly obtained a list over her portside. As result of this increasing list the vessel lost stability and ultimately flooded and capsized alongside her loading berth in the Port of Albany. Owners and agents Kahn Scheepvaart BV have no explanation yet regarding the actual cause of the accident. Investigations are being conducted in order to determine the cause of the accident. The mv Stellamare was built in 1982 by van Diepen Shipyards in Waterhuizen, the Netherlands with highest class Bureau Veritas equivalent to LLoyds 100A1. Her last special survey was carried out in 2002. Marine/salvage experts from USCG together with Owners Reps and underwriters will today begin with assessment of the situation, in order to determine further steps to be taken.
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