Crew evacuated after cargo shift on general cargo ship Alfa off South Korea

Alfa ship distressThe general cargo ship Alfa suffered heavy list in Korea Strait on 30 nm southeast of Yeosu. The ship was en route from Nakhodka to China with cargo of timber, but when passing the strait was hit by bad weather and heavy seas. The cargo on board shifted and general cargo vessel received list of 45 degrees to starboard. The crew reported about the accident and requested assistance from the local authorities. The South Korean coast guard evacuated all the 15 Russian crew members for safety reasons during salvage operations. There is no report about injuries from the crew. The abandoned general cargo ship remain drifting in Korea Strait with heavy list and danger of capsizing. According to latest and unconfirmed information, the vessel grounded on 54 nautical miles south-south-east off Yeosu.

During the cargo shift, part from the timber fell overboard and now drifting. It causes threat to shipping in the area and navigation danger for the nearby vessels. The local authorities issued temporary warning to seafarers for the drifting ship and cargo. The salvage operations is under way, but disturbed by bad weather and strong waves.

“The general cargo ship Alfa, operating under the flag of Togo, suffered heavy list of 45 degrees due to the shift of timber cargo. Coast Guard ship of the Republic of Korea responded to the distress signal. The ship did not sink, but it was decided to evacuate the entire crew of 15 Russian citizens on board of the South Korean vessel, which remains close to the freighter. The salvage operations were postponed until morning”, says the official statement of Vladivostok Maritime Rescue Coordination center.

The general cargo ship Alfa (IMO: 7610050) has overall length of 90.00 m, moulded beam of 14.00 m and maximum draft of 6.00 m. The deadweight of the vessel is 4,156 DWT and the gross tonnage is 2,803 GRT. The cargo ship was built in 1977 by Swan Hunter High Walker in their shipyard in Newcastle, UK. The owner and operator of the Togo-flagged vessel is Russian company Transatlantic Shipping Service.