Two containerships navigating on Vietnam’s busy Long Tau River collided in the early hours of Saturday, February 11. While there were no injuries reported and no oil spill, both vessels suffered severe damage as well as a loss of cargo aboard the vessel operated by Taiwan’s Wan Hai Lines.
The Vietnamese port authority is reporting that the Wan Hai 288 (23,803 dwt) was loaded with approximately 1,383 TEU and outbound heading for Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The Resurgence (11,247 dwt) operated by Japan’s Kotoku Kaoun was loaded with approximately 600 TEU and inbound heading for the container port at Ho Chi Minh City from Thailand. The vessels encountered each other on the lower portion of the river closer to the South China Sea. The Resurgence had just completed a maneuver in a curve in the river.
“Judging by the ship’s movement, they planned to pass by and leave each other on the left side of the two ships, but Resurgence ship suddenly turned to the left side and hit the front area of the Wan Hai 288,” according to the report from the Vietnamese authorities.
The collision punctured the hull of the Wan Hai vessel above the waterline and caused damage to several containers. In addition, the vessel was driven into the shallow part of the river grounding. At high tide, the Vietnamese were able to refloat the vessel and tow it to the container port at Cat Lai New Port near Thu Duc City. They expect the vessel will be offloaded so that repairs can proceed on the hull.
The Resurgence, which is registered in the Bahamas, is missing a portion of its bow from the pictures released by Vietnam. Reports said after the collision, the Resurgence was allowed by the authorities to continue to move to an anchorage at Tan Cang Cat Lai.
The City Maritime Court in Ho Chi Minh City has begun an investigation into the accident. In addition, because the Wan Hai vessel is registered in Singapore, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said it would also be investigating the circumstances of the collision.