On 18 January 2007, the UK-registered container ship MSC Napoli, on passage from Antwerp (Belgium) to Sines (Portugal), was caught in severe weather conditions – Beaufort force 10 to 11 southwesterly winds, 5 to 10 metre waves) at the west end of the English Channel, and suffered a crack in the hull, both on port and starboard sides level with the bridge.
The leaks sprung flooded the machine room and the head mechanic decided to stop the main engine. The captain immediately transmitted a distress call at around 10:30 (GMT) received by Falmouth MRCC and CROSS Corsen, who worked together to coordinate response.
The French Navy helicopter Super Frelon arrived onsite at 10:53 and confirmed the presence of a crack in the hull. The vessel developed at list and the Master ordered the crew to abandon ship at 11:15. The French authorities requested assistance from the British Coastguards to rescue the crew. In the early afternoon, two Royal Navy Sea King helicopters of 771 Squadron (RNAS, Culdrose) airlifted the 26 crew members (including seamen from Bulgaria, Ukraine, Turkey, India and the Philippines, as well as two young British cadets) to safety, rescuing them from their life boats drifting 100 km north of Ouessant Island.
This was the beginning of an affair which was to last 924 days.
|Shipyard||Samsung Shipbuilding & Heavy Industries Co Ltd (Koje, South Korea) 1991|
|Ship type||Container ship (integral tank), 4,688 TEU|
|Engine||Sulzer – 51,933 horsepower|
|Cargo||2,318 containers (41,730 tonnes)|
|Bunker fuel||3,512 tonnes of IFO 380|
|Marine diesel||152 tonnes|
|Flag||UK (port of registry: London)|
|Ship manager||Zodiac Maritime Agency Ltd|
|P&I Club||London Steamship Owners Mutual Insurance Association|
|Classification society||Bureau Veritas (1991-2002), Det Norske Veritas (2002)|
Name: MSC Napoli
Date: 18 January 2007
Location: Western Channel
Accident area : north of Trégastel, Côtes d'Armor
Cause of spill : structural damage
Products transported : various goods
Quantity transported : 41,730 tonnes
Type of pollutants : various goods + bunker fuel oil
Quantities spilled : 119 containers of various goods + 50 tonnes of IFO 380 + 150 tonnes of marine diesel oil
Ship type : container ship (capacity: 4 500 TEU)
Date built : 1991
Length : 275.67 m
Width : 38.18 m
Draught : 13.52 m
Flag : British
Owner : Metvale Limited
Last update: 03/05/11