Iranian tanker collision and fire, crew still missing, China

Crude oil tanker SANCHI collided with bulk carrier CF CRYSTAL at around 1800 Beijing time Jan 6 east of Yangtze river estuary in East China sea sea, according to Chinese sources. SANCHI loaded with 136,000 tons of crude oil was en route from Iran to Korea, while CF CRYSTAL loaded with 64,000 tons of grain was en route from USA to Guandong China. Fire erupted on board of SANCHI after collision, making rescue extremely difficult. There are talks and news about SANCHI capsizing, but it’s highly improbably outcome, and according to latest updates tanker engulfed in fire is afloat. In the morning Jan 7 a fleet of SAR ships and patrol ships and boats was deployed in SAR. It is said, that SANCHI 32 crew are missing, but it doesn’t mean they are dead, most probably they can’t be rescued yet with such big fire raging on.
Cost of oil on SANCHI board is estimated to be of some $60 mil.
No information as to collision details, most probably both ships are guilty, though in different proportions.
Bulk carrier suffered comparatively small damages, meaning that CF CRYSTAL, most probably, struck SANCHI.
Crude oil tanker SANCHI, IMO 9356608, dwt 164154, built 2008, flag Panama, manager National Iranian Tanker Company NITC.
Bulk carrier CF CRYSTAL, IMO 9497050, dwt 75725, built 2011, flag Hong Kong, manager SHANGHAI CP INTERNATIONAL SHIP MANAGEMENT & BROKER CO. LTD.

 

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My name is Mikhail Voytenko, I’m Russian, professional merchant marine navigator, by education and former experience. I own and run Maritime Bulletin website for more than 10 years. I've been involved in solving a number of piracy hijack cases, including the hijack of ro-ro FAINA, loaded with tanks. It was me who made public, and unravel, freighter ARCTIC SEA mystery. I've been also closely involved in a number of maritime disaster, one of them being MSC FLAMINIA major fire.