Nine Reported Missing after Mercosul Boxship Hits Tug

Nine people went missing after the 2, 478 TEU Mercosul Santos containership collided with a tug pushing barges on the Amazon river on Wednesday, August 2.

Following the impact, the tug sank taking eleven of its crew members with it along with some barges owned by Bertolini.

Two crew members have been rescued, according to local media.

Local authorities have launched search and rescue operation for the missing crew.

“We can confirm that on 2nd August 2017 around 4.40 AM (local time) a tug boat sank into the Amazon river approximately 78 miles from the port of Santarem after a collision with the vessel Mercosul Santos,” a Maersk Line spokesperson told World Maritime News.

According to Maersk Line, the crew members of the Brazilian-flagged boxship are safe, while the search for the missing crew members of the ill-fated tug continues.

“Our immediate concern is for the safety of all crew members involved,” the spokesperson added.

The ship is owned by Mercosul Line, a Brazilian shipowner specialized in the transportation of containerized cargo. The company became part of Danish Maersk Group in 2006.

However, earlier this year Maersk Line inked a deal with French liner company CMA CGM to sell Mercosul Line as a way of making sure the relevant regulatory authorities approve its merger with Hamburg Süd.

The Mercosul transaction is subject to Brazilian regulatory approval and the closing of Maersk’s Hamburg Süd acquisition, which is expected in Q4 2017.

Mercosul Line has four boxships in its fleet: Mercosul Santos, Mercosul Manaus, Mercosul Suape and Mercosul Itajai.

Mercosul Line is yet to provide World Maritime News with a comment on the accident.

The video below shows the damage on the scene after the incident.

World Maritime News Staff; Video Courtesy: Youtube/ Rodrigo Cintra

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