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Container Ship cuts Minesweeper in two

Nov 8, 2010
11,240
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
My first sailing course...day one...motoring down Government Cut in Miami. When someone asked who had the right away, the instructor reminded us of the biggest right of way rule: The "Big Boat - Little Boat" rule.

The curious thing about all of this for me: the news story said there were only 27 sailors on board the minesweeper? Can you really run a modern (or semi-modern given the likely precarious state of the Greek navy) minesweeper with only 27 crew members?
The Greeks use them more as multi-purpose boats. Not much of a mine threat these days. So crew needs reduced.

Was leaving Syros one morning when a sweeper stormed out of the base there and went and confronted a Turkish warship in Greek waters. Whole thing played out over VHF. Interesting times.
 
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Nov 8, 2010
11,240
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
And... you could understand ANY of it???
International VHF communications. All in English.

The Greeks called:
‘Turkish warship - you are violating rule of innocent passage. Stop making revolutions immediately and standby’

We thought it was going to be an international incident that we could watch on CNN. Sadly cooler heads prevail and nothing became of it.

NB - If you look at the international border between Greece and turkey, you can see why the turks are a little bit pissed off about the whole deal. Always testing it.
 
Nov 21, 2007
417
Beneteau Oceanis 34 Tacoma, WA
Maybe communicating in English requires more discipline and control than otherwise in Greek or Turkish. Greek, especially? They must never have been cab drivers. I have been to both, briefly, and absolutely love the entire region, but I don't think I could ever sort out the conflicts, contentions, and grudges between the two.
 
Feb 2, 2010
335
Island Packet 37 Hull #2 Harpswell Me
I think " badly damaged" is a slight understatement , the minesweeper is made of fiberglass which may explain why the complete stern has gone, a whole lot of splinters for sure.
 
Dec 23, 2016
167
Catalina 27 Clinton CT
The curious thing about all of this for me: the news story said there were only 27 sailors on board the minesweeper? Can you really run a modern (or semi-modern given the likely precarious state of the Greek navy) minesweeper with only 27 crew members?


Sure, watch the interview above ( one of the funniest ones done)

They have minimum crew requirements

What is the minimum crew requirements?

Well one I suppose
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,240
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Not sure it helps a lot.
View attachment 186686

This looks to be the track when stuff hit the fan. This first event of course changes happened about 09:30 UTC
That first maneuver occurred at the very top the down-bound TSS lane. Based on the charts, just before it.

Do you have your times right? The incident was reported at 07:40 local (GMT+2). 9:30UTC would be 11:30. Sounds like a add vs subtract error somewhere.
 
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Nov 8, 2010
11,240
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
OK its getting clearer. Here is the Hellenic Coast Guard release:

The captain of the container ship (container) "MAERSK LAUNCHESTON" flag of Portugal, was arrested for violation of articles 28, 277 par. (2) of P.K. and Rules 6,7,10 (f) and 13 of the International Code for Conflict Prevention (COLREGS)

That means they're mad at the captain for violating:

6 - Safe Speed
7 - Risk of Collision
10(f) - TSS - special caution at entry/exit (see my post above)

And then the biggie:

13 - OVERTAKING
 
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Oct 22, 2014
13,458
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Do you have your times right? The incident was reported at 07:40 local (GMT+2). 9:30UTC would be 11:30. Sounds like a add vs subtract error somewhere.
I understand the confusion, I wondered about it as well. This is what is being reported on Marine Traffic. Here is the list of time marks captured from the Timeline.
Timeline capture1.png

Timeline capture2.jpg

Perhaps you can decode the question.
You can see that the Container ship is recorded as speeding up to 7.4 knots.
 

WayneH

.
Jan 22, 2008
803
Tartan 37 Pensacola Shipyard, FL
I have two rules for sailing in shipping channels.

The Gross Tonnage Rule: He who has the grossest tonnage makes the rules.

The Versus Rule: When steel versus fiberglass, fiberglass LOSES every time.

Reminds me of the time I was running up the Sabine River. Traffic Control warned me about 4 tankers coming inshore behind me. Even though I was running at hull speed, all four of them passed me before I made the turn to go into Louisiana. Tankers were moving in excess of 10knots.