Maritime Casualty News September 2021

Unattended candles blamed in Fla. megayacht fire

Candles lit and left unattended in a yacht’s VIP suite caused a fire that resulted in the total loss of the $6.3 million vessel and $480,000 in damage to a Miami marina and adjacent vessels, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

No injuries were reported in connection with the Dec. 18, 2019, fire aboard the 120-foot-long, 299-gross-ton private yacht Andiamo. Firefighting efforts resulted in flooding that led to the yacht capsizing onto its starboard side and coming to rest on the marina’s seafloor in about 27 feet of water. 

The Marshall Islands-flagged vessel was moored at the Island Gardens Deep Harbour Marina on Pier B. The six crewmembers aboard the yacht were preparing for the arrival of a guest of the owner.

“Candle usage on a vessel, whether attended or not, poses a fire risk,” the NTSB report said. “The abundance of flammable materials on board can allow a fire to quickly spread out of control.

More details on the incident can be found here.


Coast Guard investigates drillship damage during Hurricane Ida

The Coast Guard is investigating possible damage to the drillship Globetrotter II during Hurricane Ida. 

According to the service, the watchstanders learned during the storm that the vessel was damaged. The master reportedly countered the ship was not in distress or taking on water. Information posted to social media suggests Globetrotter II sustained possible hull damage, among other safety issues, according to a Coast Guard press release. 

The ship was operating in the Gulf of Mexico roughly 80 nautical miles south-southeast of Grand Isle, La. The storm made landfall near Port Fourchon, La., on Aug. 29 as a category 4 storm, and much of south Louisiana is still recovering. 

More details on the Globetrotter II response can be found here.>


Casualty flashback: September 1901


The steel-hulled Great Lakes freighter Hudson operated for 14 years for the Western Transit Co., a subsidiary of the New York Central Railway. Its tenure came to a tragic end in September 1901. 

The 288-foot ship left Duluth, Minn., for Buffalo, N.Y., on Sept. 15, 1901 carrying grain and flax. The ship, powered by a 1,300-hp triple expansion steam engine, was commanded by Capt. Angus J. McDonald. 

According to published reports, the ship encountered a strong storm during the overnight, and by early on Sept. 16, lighthouse keepers stationed in Eagle Harbor, Mich., saw the vessel listing badly. It ultimately capsized and sank, witnesses said at the time, and all 25 hands were lost.

The cause of the sinking was never determined, although shifting cargo became a leading theory, with engine problems often cited as a contributing factor. 

Hudson’s resting place remained unknown until shipwreck investigators found the vessel in 2019. It was discovered intact in more than 800 feet of water. 

By Professional Mariner Staff