'Phantom' ship drama caused by overloading

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'Phantom' ship drama caused by overloading

Too much load on the deck, inappropriate ballast to stabilize the ship, and poor manuals and guidelines for securing the load are the reasons behind drama at sea involving the Gibraltar-flagged Phantom outside of Öland in 2012.


The report on the incident has been compiled by the Swedish Accident Investigation Authority (Statens Haverikommission) and published on Thursday.

Helicopters dashed to the rescue of the six-man crew of the merchant ship in February 2012 after it began listing heavily in the Baltic Sea.

The crew were winched to safety in darkness after the 80-metre vessel "Phantom" developed a heavy list late Wednesday shortly after leaving Oskarshamn in southern Sweden.

"It all went very quickly. We had to really rush there with helicopters, and the crew were chilled and had not even managed to get on their rescue suits. It was very worrying," coastguard spokesman Jonas Andersson told AFP at the time.

The Gibraltar-flagged vessel had loaded sawn timber in Oskarshamn and was heading for Casablanca in Morocco.

The mainly-Russia crew were flown to hospital in Kalmar and the vessel was towed back into port in Oskarshamn after a battle involving several coastguard vessels.

There was a real risk of the ship sinking and shedding its cargo and fuel in the Baltic Sea but disaster was ultimately avoided after an extensive and dramatic operation.

TT/AFP/The Local

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