Thursday, April 13, 2006

When freighters collide

A Philippine freighter collided with a smaller Japanese vessel off the entrance to Tokyo Bay. Reported here:
A Philippine-registered freighter sank after it collided with a Japanese cargo vessel near Tokyo Bay in heavy fog Thursday, but its 25 crew members all managed to escape to safety, the Japan Coast Guard said.

The 6,182-ton Eastern Challenger began taking in water and sank at 12:07 p.m. (0307 GMT), about seven hours after colliding with the 498-ton Tsugaru-maru, said Isao Matsumoto, a spokesman for Japan Coast Guard's regional office in Yokohama.

The freighter's 25 Filipino crew members were picked up by the coast guard after fleeing their sinking ship in life boats, Matsumoto said. He said they were all unharmed and had been taken to Yokosuka port.

The five-member crew of the Tsugaru-maru were also unharmed.

Visibility was about 150 meters (500 feet) at the time of the accident, but the cause of the collision is still under investigation, Matsumoto said.

Ship photo from this site.

UPDATE: (4/17/06) Fred Fry has a link to the BBC video of the sinking in this post.

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