BW LNG’s BW Lesmes was transiting the Suez Canal southbound after 21:30 local time when the vessel grounded, according to a statement from BW LNG.
In a post on the SCA’s Facebook page, the authority attributed the grounding to “a technical failure in steering” that caused the vessel to lose the ability to steer. The SCA reported that a strong current drove Burri into an allision with BW Lesmes, which the SCA said was not carrying cargo.
BW LNG said “Following the grounding, another vessel subsequently allided with BW Lesmes. The allision occurred at a low speed and the vessel’s operational capabilities have not been affected. Initial observations from the crew on board have reported the vessel remains structurally sound. BW Lesmes is now under pilotage and proceeding to Suez anchorage for further inspections. The BW LNG technical team from Oslo will arrive this afternoon to commence investigations.”
The SCA said it sent four tugs to assist the vessels, and cleared the navigation channel to allow traffic in the global shipping shortcut to resume.
BW LNG confirmed that in conjunction with the local authorities, crew on board BW Lesmes successfully refloated the vessel at 03:30 local time on 23 August.
SCA chief Admiral Osama Rabee said, “The authority’s marine rescue boats successfully dealt with the emergency navigation and technical breakdowns that two carriers experienced while crossing the channel within the North convoy in the early hours of Wednesday morning.”
Admiral Rabee said the distressed vessels did not incur significant damage, but that the crew of Burri reported “a sudden breakdown” requiring tug assistance while the crew repaired ’the break’ [translation via Facebook].
TMS Tankers, a division of Greece-based Cardiff Marine, lists Burri as a Cayman Islands-flagged, 2019-built Aframax crude and product tanker of 115,000 dwt.
TMS Tankers has been contacted for further comment on the condition of its tanker vessel.
In 2021, the world’s attention turned to a grounding in the Suez Canal when ultra-large container ship Ever Given became wedged diagonally across the canal near kilometre-marker 151. Refloating operations took more than six days, costing global trade somewhere between US$6-10Bn, according to weekly estimates at the time from German insurer Allianz.