Maersk Line Boxship Loses Crew While Taking Pilot Onboard in Canada


As per media reports, the Container ship MAERSK PATRAS lost a man overboard while reportedly, taking pilot on board off Les Escoumins, Quebec, Saint Lawrence river mouth, in the morning of May 19.

What happened?

The Vessel arrived from Antwerp, being bound for Montreal. SAR lasted until evening May 19, was suspended, all involved ships and helicopter released. MAERSK PATRAS resumed voyage at 1945 LT May 19, as of 0500 UTC May 20 was sailing upstream, below Quebec City.

The Missing Crew

According to unconfirmed social media posts, missing crew is either AB or Second Officer, he wasn’t wearing life jacket, little chance of survival in 6 C water.
Container ship MAERSK PATRAS, IMO 9168221, dwt 37842, capacity 2890 TEU, built 1998, flag Singapore, manager MAERSK Line (EQUASIS).

The Vessel in Question

The 1998-built Maersk Patras is a 2,900 TEU container ship flagged in Singapore. As of Monday afternoon she was underway once more on the St. Lawrence River near Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. She is expected in Montreal on Monday night, where she will be met by Sûreté du Québec’s Major Crimes Investigation Division for interviews with the crew. Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has also launched an inquiry into the circumstances of the incident.

Maersk Patras was last in the news in November 2016, when she suffered an engine room fire off Las Palmas.


The Search Operation

At about 0930 on Sunday morning, the sub-Panamax container ship Maersk Patras reported that the second officer had gone overboard in the Saint Lawrence River, about 100 nm to the northeast of Quebec City. The Marine Search & Rescue Centre (MSRC) of the Canadian Coast Guard immediately lauched a search effort with the help of several vessels, including Maersk Patras, the CCG response vessel Cap de Rabast, the pilot boat Grandes Eaux, and the CCG hovercraft Sipu Muin. Airborne assets also participated in the effort.

How did this happen?

According to Sûreté du Québec, the officer went overboard during a pilot change maneuver near the pilot station at Les Escoumins. Canadian media reported that he was not wearing a personal floatation device when he went over the side, and that the water temperature was about 43 degrees Fahrenheit – a dangerously cold level for an unaided swimmer.

What Maersk is doing?

The second officer is from Sri Lanka. Maersk is in contact with the relatives as well as the crew members of Maersk Patras, who will receive crisis counseling. Maersk says that it will cooperate fully with the authorities in the investigation of the incident.

Search Unsuccessful and Called Off

According to an article published in the Maritime Executive, the search for a Maersk container ship officer who went overboard last weekend was unsuccessful and has been called off, according to Maersk Line.

The search was not successful, and MSRC called it off on Sunday evening at about 2000 local time.

Statement from Maersk Line

“It is with regret we have received the news that the search and rescue operation was unsuccessful and we must conclude that we have lost our colleague. It is a tragic situation for the family and we have offered them our full support. My deepest condolences and thoughts go to them,” said Søren Toft, COO of A.P. Moller – Maersk.

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Source: Maritime Executive


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