SHIP SINKING LATEST (07.30 Thursday)

May 4, 2006
Author: P&S

The fate of 27 of the crew off the ore carrier Alexandros T remained uncertain early this morning (Thursday) after six of the total crew of 33 were picked up by another ship, Fortune Express.

Last night we reported the vessel by another name. It now appears the stricken ship was the 91,164-gt bulk ore carrier Alexandros T, IMO number 8907735, which is registered in St Vincent and the Grenadines and is owned by a company known as Starlight Shipping of Athens. The ship managers are Overseas Marine Enterprises also of Athens.

Alexandros T was built in 1989.

The ship was reportedly en route from Brazil for China with a full load of iron ore a Port Elizabeth port official said last night the ship was drawing 18m of water which indicated a heavy load. For as yet unknown reasons the vessel began taking on water and later last night began breaking up, giving the crew of 33 very little time to don their life jackets and take to the life rafts and boats.

In response to a distress call a nearby vessel, the bulk carrier Fortune Express responded and began picking up survivors during the night. However by this morning it was revealed that only six had been found so far and a search for the remaining 27 was continuing. A South African Air Force C130 took off from Port Elizabeth before first light today to assist with the search. So far (07.30 local time) there have been no sightings reported.

The Alexandros T went down approximately 280 miles south of Port Elizabeth in an area that over the years has become the graveyard of many, many ships. Now it has one other.



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