Stricken Britannica Hav Reaches Le Havre Port

The overturned general cargo ship Britannica Hav arrived at the Le Havre harbor in the afternoon hours of March 22.

The stricken vessel was towed to the site by tug Abeille Liberté, and escorted by two other units, according to France’s Maritime Prefect. The tug attached a tow line through the freighter’s bow thruster tunnel in order to bring the drifting ship under control.

The 82-meter-long Britannica Hav capsized and turned over following a collision with the fishing vessel Deborah in the English Channel, some 50 nautical miles northeast of the Cherbourg coast, on March 20. The Malta-flagged cargo ship’s seven crew members evacuated the vessel before it turned over.

Owned by Norway’s Hav Shipping, the cargo ship suffered damage to its center port side, while four 15-by-20-foot hatches separated from the vessel and were reported adrift.

The hatches have been marked and are being monitored, according to the authorities. Although they have disassociated, they were still drifting some 50 nautical miles northeast of Cherbourg as at March 22. The shipowner chartered two additional tugs from the Netherlands to tow the hatches to Le Havre.

An assessment of the exact condition of the vessel, as well as an action strategy plan, are expected to be undertaken in the coming days. A group of navy divers cut the ship’s mast and various superstructures in order to simplify the maneuver of turning the ship, planned at a later time.

Maritime Prefect earlier informed that an oil sheen was spotted at the site following the incident, however, there were no further reports of oil spills. 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.

World Maritime News Staff