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"Overlooking Runway 25 - Right, at Los Angeles International Airport"


"Scheldt Snafu!"

Or More Daylight Blindness?

On The Scene On Approach To Antwerp !

Feature Date: February, 2006

Event Date: August 13 2003

Countryman & McDaniel

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"Overlooking Runway 25 - Right, at Los Angeles International Airport"

On The Scene -- The Approach To Antwerp !

 A 2006 Countryman & McDaniel

Cargo Nightmare Prize Contender

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"Scheldt Snafu!"

On The Scene

The Approach To Antwerp

M/V Grande Nigeria

In Collision With

M/V Nada V

More Daylight Blindness?

On The River Scheldt


A Cargo Nightmare Prize Contender

The Date: August 13 2003

The Time: Early Moning

The Place: Nauw Van Bath, At River Scheldt Approach To Antwerp

M/V Grande Nigeria In Better Days

Built -2000

Owner - Grimaldi Germany GmbH

Flag -Italy

Type of Vessel -Multipurpose-conro (Ro-ro/Container carrier)

Class - Grande Africa Class

Displacement -56,800 gross tons

Overall Length - 214 meters

Beam -32.2 meters

Service Speed -20 knots

Loading capacity:

Vehicles: 2.500

Ro-Ro: 2.500

Containers: 800 TEU

Ramp capacity: 250 tons

This Voyage: Northern Europe to West Africa

This Cargo: Around 400 Containers, cars and general cargo

Grande Africa Class

Ships of this kind are, like the similar-built vessels (however, with small alterations) Grande San Paolo, Grande Nigeria, Grande Amburgo and Grande Buenos Aires which were delivered in 2003 and 2004, multipurpose-conro vessels serving West Africa and South America.

Northern Express Service & South America

Grande Amburgo

Grande Brasile

Grande San Paolo

Grande Francia

Grande Buenos Aires


Central Express Service

Grande Atlantico

Grande Nigeria

Grande Argentina

Grande Africa

Grande America

The Prolog To Disaster -- Approach To Antwerp
PROLOG >> It's early Sunday, 20 July 2003 -- two hours after midnight -- as two merchants M/V Pelican 1 & M/V Maersk Bahrain -- with thousands of cargo containers -- ply the River Scheldt approach to the mega-port of Antwerp -- near the 'Nauw van Bath' area on the Antwerp side of the river.

From The Cargo Letter for Sun. July 27 2003

1,930 TEU container M/V Pelican 1 suffered severe hull damage in collision with M/V Maersk Bahrain on the River Scheldt near Antwerp on July 20. Dutch river authorities & salvors mobilized pollution control equipment to deal with oil in river while the salvors worked on skimming oil from the surface of water in flooded engine room -- floating crane has removed 317 deck containers from the vessel, and divers have completed a full inspection of the hull. (Sun. July 27 2003)

But Wait! -- M/V Pelican 1 Vs. M/V Maersk Bahrain was our story in the "Pelican's Peril" feature posted in 2003.

Below is M/V Grande Nigeria Vs. M/V Nada V -- because only 24 days later on Aug. 13, 2003 -- IT HAPPENED AGAIN AT THE SAME PLACE!

Perfect Hit!

Indeed, doing this on purpose would present a challenge.

M/V Nada V said to have pulled full astern just prior to collision -- didn't help.

"Ship Happens! ©"

On Wed. Aug. 13 2003, The Cargo Letter broadcast the following news story:
HEAD ON COLLISION CLOSES PORT>> Italian 56,800gt Ro/Ro M/V Grande Nigeria (built 2002) & 43,101gt Panamanian vehicle M/V Nada V (built 1984), both 200 meters in length & with thousands of automobiles, in collision -- Belgian port of Antwerp on Aug. 13, blocking all shipping to/from Europe's 2nd largest port. Both ships still afloat on Western Schelde River outside Antwerp. One ship entering port while other leaving Antwerp but facts of accident still unclear. Rudder problem considered, as both vessels involved in frontal collision. Not clear how long Antwerp port likely to remain blocked & closed. (Wed. 13 Aug. 2003)

A little bondo & paint -- she'll be fine!

Aftermath -- Vessels communicate orders with string & soup cans.

The vessels collided head on at the entrance to Antwerp port (M/V Nada V &endash; inbound, M/V Grande Nigeria &endash; outbound), both ships with pilots on board. No technical reasons are suspected for the collision which at this stage is being attributed to a "misunderstanding" or "Snafu" between the pilots. LOF 2000 was signed with Smit by owners of both vessels. The pilots have since changed their eyewear prescriptions.

M/V Nada V pulled astern following the collision -- went aground on a sand bar -- minor stern damage

-- but was refloated. No damage to her cargo reported. List suggests some water ingress.

M/V Nada V
Registrtion: Panama

Cargo: 1,653 vehicles

Voyage: Japan and other Far Eastern ports for Middle East and Europe

Built: 1984

Car Capacity: 4,500

High Car Capacity height 2.0M: 3,184

Ramp Loadable Tons: 30.0

M/V Nada V damaged fore & aft, in eight tug pull to port for inspection & repair.

M/V Nada V reaches port a bit shorter, perhaps M/V Nada IV 3/4.

From Our Reader Caspar Vermeulen:
"This summer was a very unfortunate one for Antwerp in the field of accidents. M/V Pelican 1 suffered severe hull damage in collision with M/V Maersk Bahrain on the River Scheldt near Antwerp on July 20.

Then on 1 August the tug Burcht capesized near the Zandvliet lock after she was hit by the container M/V MSC Noa. Unfortunately an engineer on board the tug drowned.

Less than two weeks later, on Aug. 13th, two car carriers collided near Antwerp. It seems that M/V Grande Nigeria lost power & collided with the M/V Nada V. The master of this vessel tried to avoid the collision by giving full power in reverse. Despite that, the vessels collided bow to bow & got stuck into each other. The aft of M/V Nada V was slightly damaged when the vessel reversed & hit a sand bank. Later that day tugs separated the two vessels.

I must say that the dykes in our area have become a real tourist attraction. I know because I live just a few kilometres from the Nauw van Bath. You can see my village on one of the photos in the "M/V Pelican I" feature (see our "Pelican's Peril" Feature)."

Caspar Vermeulen, Rilland, The Netherlands -- Sept. 11 2003
Thanks For Your Contribution Caspar! Start taking a camera with you! [Note: Our facts of the collision vary from this account.]

"Ship Happens! ©"

The Dedication of This Feature Is Simple: To The Crews of M/V Grande Nigeria & M/V Nada V and their families. No injuries in this amazing incident.

SPECIAL NOTE: The historic dangers of carriage by sea continue to be quite real. Shippers must be encouraged to purchase high quality marine cargo insurance from their freight forwarder or customs brokerIt's dangerous out there.


The Scene
Port of Antwerp

Port of Flushing

The River Scheldt

Western Etuary- at River Scheldt

Nauw Van Bath

The Owners

Grimaldi Germany GmbH - M/V Grande Nigeria

NYK Line - M/V Nada V

The Salvors

SMIT Salvage - 160 years of service

SMIT Salvage participated in raising & salvage of the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk from May 18 to Oct. 23, 2001

The 24 Days Earlier Event

Our "Pelican's Peril" Feature - the first collision of July 20 2003

P&O Nedlloyd Shipping Dictionary

Other Ocean Related Features From The Cargo Letter

The Cargo Letter Photo Gallery of Transport Loss - for all the air & ocean features including those below --

"Unstacked - Overboard With Dr. Beach" - Oct. 2004

"Columbia River Round Up" - June 2003

"Halifax Hash"--M/V Maersk Carolina - Jan. 2003

"Piñata" - breaking the box - Jan. 2003

"T-E-U Bar-Be-Cue" - aftermath of the M/V Pennsylvania Loss - Nov. 2002

"Container Pool" - a mystery - May 2002

"Dropping In On The Trucker" -happened again - April 2002

"Meals: Ready To Explode" - Navy Barbecue at Guam June 2001

"M/V Ville D' Orion" - Bad L.A. Stack Disaster! April 2001 -- UPDATED - May 2002

"Pier Review" - Sept. 2001

"Singles Only" - visit our individual moments of transport crisis for more.

The Greatest Container Losses Of All Time - these are the grand fathers -

M/V OOCL America

M/V APL China

SPECIAL NOTE: The historic dangers of carriage by sea continue to be quite real. Shippers must be encouraged to purchase high quality marine cargo insurance from their freight forwarder or customs broker.  It's dangerous out there.
Thanks To Our Contributors For The
"Scheldt Snafu!" Feature

Our Contributors for this feature are:
Anonymous photo contributor who wishes to be anonymous*

Caspar Vermeulen, Rilland, The Netherlands

NOTE: Please Provide Us With Your Additional Information For This Loss.

EDITOR'S NOTE FOR SURVEYORS, ATTORNEYS & MARINE ADJUSTERS: The Internet edition effort of The Cargo Letter now celebrates it's 8th Year of Service -- making us quite senior in this segment of the industry. We once estimated container underway losses at about 1,500 per year. Lloyd's put that figure at about 10,000 earlier this year. Quite obviously, the reporting mechanism for these massive losses is not supported by the lines. News of these events is not posted to the maritime community. Our new project is to call upon you -- those handling the claims -- to let us know of each container loss at sea-- in confidentiality. Many of you survey on behalf of cargo interests with no need for confidentiality. Others work for the lines & need to be protected. As a respected Int'l publication, The Cargo Letter enjoys full press privileges & cannot be forced to disclose our sources of information. No successful attempt has ever been made. If a personal notation for your report is desired -- each contributor will be given a "hot link" to your company Website in each & every report. Please take moment & report your "overside" containers to us. If you do not wish attribution, your entry will be "anonymous." This will will benefit our industry -- for obvious reasons! McD

* NOTE: The Cargo Letter wants you to know that by keeping the identity of our contributors 100% Confidential, you are able to view our continuing series of "Cargo Disasters." Our friends send us materials which benefit the industry. The materials are provided to our news publication with complete and enforceable confidentiality for the sender. In turn, we provide these materials to you.  

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