Vessels collide at sea

Conflicting reports
Leandrea Mouers
Conflicting reports have emerged from a vessel collision near Walvis Bay. The MV Tutungeni and the Erica collided out at sea earlier this month.

Responding to questions sent by Erongo 24/7, Peya Hitula, the chief executive officer of Tunacor, to whom the MV Tutungeni belongs, stated that the unfortunate incident happened in thick fog and in the dark of night.

“All crew of both vessels is okay, and we are fortunate that all are safe and with no casualties. The damaged vessels can be repaired. The Tutungeni accompanied the other vessel to port to make sure they reach port safely. There has been no injury or loss of life”, he responded.

Questions as to how many crew members were on board, or what the damage to the vessel was, remain unanswered.

Roux-Che Locke, spokesperson of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group under which Hangana Seafood is a subsidiary (owner of the trawler Erica), said that the sky was clear and the vessel was on its way home from the fishing grounds.

“There were 27 crew members plus one fisheries observer on board. No serious injuries were recorded. Four crew members who complained of back and muscle pain, as well as high blood pressure, were admitted to hospital for observation.”

She added that a full investigation has been launched to determine the actual damages including the cost estimate of these damages.

“However, we can confirm that the main A-frame is badly damaged and the hull plate on the port plus some of the structure of the vessel. The vessel will be taken to the dry dock for a proper assessment. The vessel is currently not seaworthy. After the assessment, the way forward will be decided upon.”