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

"The Death of Ioannis N.K. "

On The Scene Off Saldanha Bay, South Africa

Feature Date: August 12 2009

Event Date: June 23 2009

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

On The Scene --Off Saldanha Bay, South Africa

 A 2009 Countryman & McDaniel

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"The Death of Ioannis N.K. "

On The Scene

Off Saldanha Bay, South Africa

July 23 2009

M/V Ioannis N.K. - In Better Days


M/V Ioannis N.K


Flag: Panama

Type: Bulk Carrier

Built: 1977 In Marugame Yard, Japan

Shipowner: Agios Fanouris Shipping S.A.

Shipmanager: Seabound Maritime Inc.

Call Sign: 3FDU9

IMO No.: 7700946

M/V Ioannis N.K

Gross Tonnage: 14,498gt

Dead Weight Tonnage: 23,791t

Lenght: 159,83mt

Breadth: 25.00mt


The Current Voyage

Cargo This Voyage: 22,500mt of Sugar

Lane: Brazil For India

Crew: 23

Loss Position: 95 Nautical Miles Off Lamberts Bay, NW of Saldanha Bay, South Africa

A Cargo Nightmare Prize Contender

The Date: June 23 2009

The Time: 0600 Hrs. LT

The Place: 95 NM Off Saldanha Bay, South Africa

Bulk Carrier M/V Ioannis N.K.

A Proud 33 Year Old -- Ready To Carry A Bounty of Sugar From Brazil To India -- Around The World

This Voyage Round The World Voyage For M/V Ioannis N.K. Would Be Her Last

Editor Note: As you scroll through these pictures -- keep in mind that Cargo Law has some unanswered questions about the clean & simple nature of this loss.

Cause of Loss? Reader Comment

The Cargo Letter - June 23 2009
Panama flagged bulk carrier M/V Ioannis N.K. issued a distress signal by the Master. Reported that she was taking on water and listing at a 45-degree angle before she sank. The vessel, with cargo of 22,500 tons of sugar -- en-route from Brazil to India.
Tug M/V Smit Amandla, From Cape Town, On Scene Since Morning & Would Remain To Assess The Situation

Editor Note: There are clues here, as to either the cause or a result of the problem which places M/V Ioannis N.K. at severe list & danger of sinking. The crew of 

23 was lifted off the ship by South African Air Force helicopters not long before she went down and they were transported ashore.

M/V Ioannis N.K. -- At 90 Degree List. Her 32nd Year Will Be The Last
The 14,498 Gross Ton M/V Ioannis N.K. Makes Her Death Roll
M/V Ioannis N.K. Tops The Waves
M/V Ioannis N.K. -- A Final Blast of Life For A Dying Industrial Creature of Our Seas

M/V Ioannis N.K. -- The Final Photo - - Bowsprit ToThe Wind -- Defiant To The End. The Great Ship Is Dead.


 Tracking Back: Photo Taken Just Before The Loss of M/V Ioannis N.K. -- Cause?

Editor Note: This photo makes clear -- and your clues were in most of the foregoing photos -- that sea water ingress preceded the M/V Ioannis N.K. loss event.
The 32-year-old ship's class certificates, which in part indicated its seaworthiness, were due to expire on August 16 2009 while she would still have been at sea.

Is this water ingress the cause -- or a result? We will leave this to the investigation boards.

Many of you will ask -- why did M/V Ioannis N.K. sink -- so quickly -- with no obvious weather or obvious mechanical cause? The starboard side breach may be a clue or a cause as we have said -- but especially in times of down economy -- the Lloyd's investigators will look very deeply into the life & death of M/V Ioannis N.K.


Reader Response:

Dear Cargo Law,

I have a theory about what caused the loss of this ship.

Sugar is a very dangerous cargo for two reasons. First it is not only water soluble, the solution is much smaller than the combination of the parts. Second, sugar gets slightly sticky when it is slightly wet.

A small leak into a hold carrying bulk sugar will dissolve part of the lower level of the cargo and form a heavy liquid with large free surface. The upper part of the cargo will remainin place supported by a dome of sticky sugar.

The combination of these two can have a catastrophic effect on vessel stability. Not only do you have a large volume of sugar water sloshing from side to side, you also have the center of gravity of the hold raised.

I suspect a small hole in the shell plating let a small quantity of water in. The big hole shown in the pictures happened later, probably from sloshing liquid inside the hold.

Nasty situation and I don't know what the crew could have done to save the ship. It seems like if you pump it makes the situation worse.

Ross Gauld - Houston

Reader Response:

Dear Cargo Law,
The gaping hole in this ship's side appears, from the photos, to be about 2 meters wide by 6 meters deep. A hole of consequence for sure.

The damage is very clean cut - a nice even rectangle - almost looks like a side-door!

If I were investigating this sinking, I would want to see if any repairs had been done at that location lately (last 3 - 4 years).

Hummm, so much for the Enhanced Survey Program. Red flags in respect of ESP were raised in the TSB report of the Alcor grounding, Section


Another area of investigation: clean breaks in steel like this can also be caused by brittle fracture - a problem with some mild steels even today. To verify the steel's toughness, samples would have to be retrieved and CVN tests conducted at different temperatures (0C, 10C & 20C for example) to determine the transition temperature of that particular steel.

See TSB's report on the Lake Carling. and complementry article

My two cents -
Paul Drouin - Safe Ship

Shippers Must Have Quality Marine Cargo Insurance ........ Because......... "Ship Happens! ©"

To Repeat -- No Matter How Careful You Are -- Or Who You Hire ....... "Ship Happens! ©"

Get Your "Ship Happens! ©" Gear!

Visit The Cargo Law Ship's Store For Great Industry Gift Ideas!

The Dedication of This Feature Is Simple: To The Crew of M/V Ioannis N.V. & To The Salvage Crew of M/V Smit Amandla -- And To The Many Tow & Salvage Tugs Whose Crews Risk Lives Every Day -- While We Sleep --
-- They Work To Protect These Ships & Our Cargo In Some of The Most Dangerous Conditions Which Have Either Been Encountered Or Imagined.

SPECIAL NOTE: The historic dangers of carriage by air & sae 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 very dangerous out there.


Important Links To Our Feature:
Smit Amandla Marine
South African Wreck and Salvage Acit of 1996

Tug M/V Smit Amandla - to the rescue

She Participated In -- 2009 Nightmare - Barge Margaret

Our Daily Vessel Casualties - stay informed

"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

M/V APL Panama - The EPIC

"Great Misfortune"- M/V Hyundai Fortune - March 2006

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 very dangerous out there.

Thanks To Our Contributors For The "The Death of Ioannis N.K. " Feature

Our Contributor for this feature are greatly appreciated:
Anonymous Contributor Who Has Brought Us Many Features -- But Must Be Anonymous*

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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