Overturned Britannica Hav Being Towed to Le Havre

The hull of the overturned cargo vessel Britannica Hav has been taken into tow and is currently on its way to the port of Le Havre, according to France’s Maritime Prefect.

The vessel, which is being towed by tug Abeille Liberté, is expected to reach the port in the afternoon hours of March 22.

The authorities decided to pass a tow line through the freighter’s bow thruster tunnel in order to bring the drifting ship under control. After the operation was successfully completed, the convoy proceeded towards Le Havre at a speed of about three knots.

An exclusion zone of 500 meters was created around the convoy.

Featuring a length of 82 meters, Britannica Hav capsized and turned over following a collision with the fishing vessel Deborah in the afternoon hours of March 20 in the English Channel.

All seven of the Malta-flagged cargo ship’s crew members managed to leave the vessel before it sank. They were later safely evacuated by helicopter to land.

The Malta-flagged Britannica Hav, owned by Norway’s Hav Shipping, suffered damage to its center port side, while four 15-by-20-foot hatches were separated from the vessel and were reported adrift.

The authorities informed that the hatches are still drifting some 50 nautical miles northeast of Cherbourg. They are being monitored for movement and are expected to be towed to the port of Le Havre by a tug on March 22.

At the time of the incident, the cargo vessel was loaded with some 1,955 tonnes of steel and had 48 tons of light diesel fuel on board. Maritime Prefect informed that an oil sheen was spotted at the site following the incident, however, there were no further reports of an oil spill.

World Maritime News Staff