Posted on July 04, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
The Chile-flagged RoRo Cargo Ship, COYHAIQUE had to evacuate its passengers after running aground during the early morning hours of July the 3rd.
The incident occurred at approximately 02:00 am LT, while the vessel was transiting from Puerto Chacabuco to Puerto Montt.
The full story is not yet completely clear at this moment. The vessel was in the vicinity of Melchor Island, in the Aysen region of Chile when, reportedly the Master of the vessel died, under unknown circumstances.
According to the Prosecutor at Puerto Aysen, who launched the initial investigation into the incident, the Captain committed suicide.
Following the Master’s death, the vessel proceeded to ran aground in the shallows, breaching its hull in the process.
Shortly after the incident, the engine room started flooding, prompting the crew to call for the evacuation of everyone aboard the vessel.
Thankfully, another vessel operating in the region managed to successfully rescue the 20 passengers and 20 crew members aboard the sinking vessel.
A Navy team was sent to the scene in the aftermath of the incident. They reported traces of oil pollution in the vicinity of the grounded vessel, further raising concerns over a potential environmental contamination.
Aysen authorities are committed to carrying out a salvage operation on the vessel so as to avoid the potential spill from spreading further.
The crew & passengers of the Coyhaique have all been transferred safely to the port of Aysen.
An investigation is currently on-going as to the tragic death of the vessel’s Captain as well as the details surrounding the grounding.