China ship underlying cause of Sanchi tanker incident

TEHRAN, May 05 (MNA) – The Chinese freighter CF Crystal crew’s error and carelessness and redirecting it towards the Iranian oil tanker have been announced the main cause of Sanchi oil tanker incident.

Nader Pasandeh, Deputy Director General for Seafarer's Affairs & International Specialize Agencies of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) told reporters on Saturday that the Chinese freighter CF Crystal was the cause of the Sanchi oil tanker collision.

“Human errors of the Crystal officers and redirecting it to a wrong path 15 minutes before the incident led to the collision,” Pasandeh said, adding “if that mistake [by the Crystal crew] had not been made, the collision would not have happened.”

“The Chinese freighter crews and officers had not noticed the Iranian oil tanker Sanchi until the collision,” according to the Iranian official.

The above mentioned cause is confirmed by Iran, Panama and Bangladesh, Pasandeh said.

The Sanchi oil tanker collision occurred on 6 January 2018 when the Panamanian-flagged, Iranian-owned tanker Sanchi, with a full natural-gas condensate cargo of 136,000 tonnes (960,000 barrels), sailing from Iran to South Korea, collided with the Hong Kong-flagged cargo ship CF Crystal 160 nautical miles (300 km) off Shanghai, China. Sanchi caught fire shortly after the collision; after burning and drifting for over a week, it sank on 14 January.

None of Sanchi's 32 crew members survived.

The crew of the CF Crystal was rescued and the ship made port in China. The financial damage of the sinking of Sanchi, based on NIOC estimates, is around USD 110 million: USD 60 million for the cargo and USD 50 million for the vessel itself.

KI/4287895

News Code 133790

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