Collision in Gulf of Suez – hit&run ship may be ballasting tanker
Egyptian fishing boat or vessel, named Badr Islam, with 40 or 45 people on board, was rammed by an unidentified big cargo vessel early in the morning Dec 14 in Gulf of Suez between Ras Ghareb and Tor Sinai port, some 50 kilometers from Hurghada port. 13 people were rescued, 13 dead bodies recovered, the rest are missing. Number of people on board of Badr Islam seems to be too big for a local fishing vessel, let alone boat. Probably Badr Islam was carrying passengers. Cargo vessel which struck Badr Islam didn’t stop and continued sailing. Firstly it was said, that the hit&run vessel was Kuwait-flagged or owned container ship en route from Italy to Jeddah. Later media said the vessel is Panama-flagged (maybe Hong Kong owned or operated) of a 220000 tons cargo capacity, which if true, leaves container ship out, it could be only a ballasting tanker, suezmax or VLCC. A big tanker could crash a small vessel, let alone boat, by a mere contact, brush, or even capsize it by waves in a very close approach. Media say collision took place in the dawn, meaning it wasn’t daylight, watch on bridge may simply miss small boat, both on radar (especially so if Badr Islam was a wooden boat) and visually. A collision jolt may not be felt at all. It’s too early to blame a cargo vessel for hit&run, without knowing all the details. Though most probably, authorities will do everything they can to make the cargo vessel guilty.
The suspect vessel, according to Egyptian officials, is detained, it is understood she’s anchored off Safaga port.