Human error caused N Sea collision?
The manager of the Baltic Ace car carrier has stated that human error was probably the cause of the collision.
The Baltic Ace, a 148 m car carrier, was en route from Zeebrugge, Belgium, to Kotka, Finland when it collided with the 134 m Corvus J container ship, en route from Grangemouth, Scotland, to Antwerp, Belgium.
The collision occured in the North Sea ~50 NM off Rotterdam at 1815 UTC on 5 December. The Baltic Ace sank quickly, with the loss of 11 of the 24 crew; Corvus J was damaged but not in danger of sinking, with all 12 crew members remaining on board.
The Operations Manager at Stamco Ship Management, which managed the Baltic Ace, has said that technical failure was extremely unlikely because the ship was just 5 years old, in very good condition and had passed a safety inspection in August.
He added 'You cannot control some things. This happened in good weather, normal weather. There was good visibility, so I feel most probably there was a human error.'
The Baltic Ace - carrying 1,400 new cars - was said to be insured for $50-60 million.
Details from Reuters below . .