Posted on January 21, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis

Panama-flagged chemical tanker, Oriental Nadeshiko, ran aground while transiting through Germany, at approximately 01:10 UTC, in the early morning hours of January the 21st.

The tanker had originally left the German city of Stade, and was bound for Tarragona, Spain with a cargo of hazardous chemicals.

However, the vessel ran aground while transiting through the Elbe River estuary, near the city of Cuxhaven, located in north-western Germany.

Local authorities immediately sprang to action, sending several tugs to assist the distressed vessel.

“The Havariekommando (Central Command for Maritime Emergencies Germany) has ordered six tugs and the Stickers Gat delivery ship to the operational area around 10 km (6 miles) east of Cuxhaven. The aim is to prepare the Oriental Nadeshiko for a recovery attempt to re-float the tanker. The land-based Nordholz boarding team is alerted and will advise and assist the crew of the stricken vessel in the construction of the emergency towing link,” said Germany’s Central Command for Maritime Emergencies (CCME), in a statement

What complicates the situation, is the nature of the cargo onboard the vessel. The tanker is carrying hazardous goods, which are classed as a category 3 flammable liquid. More specifically:

  • 7500 tons of ethylene dichloride
  • 1250 tons of 1,2-propylene glycol
  • 250 tons of 1-methoxy-2-propanol

Thankfully, according to the crew onboard the vessel, there’s no sign of a leak.

Authorities are still speculating as to the potential cause of the incident but hopefully will know more upon conclusion of the salvage operation.


The crew of 22 onboard the Oriental Nadeshiko are all considered safe and in good health.


Authorities plan to refloat the vessel at high tide, at approximately 1pm.



Image Courtesy of Marine Traffic

Posted in Germany , Risk , Safety , Grounding , Accident

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