News this Saturday in the search for the two workers who disappeared this Friday in the port of Castellón after a merchant ship, under the Panamanian flag, heeled 90 degrees. The Mediterranean Newspaper has been able to know that at 3:00 a.m. last morning, the maritime captain who was leading the operation ordered the search operation to be halted, since the ship in question was making dangerous movements, there was the real possibility that it would sink, thus trapping the divers who were at that time under the fuselage, thus aggravating the tragedy. What’s more, the chances of finding the stevedore and the sailor alive, once several hours have passed since the accident, are practically nil.
At the moment, the works continue to be carried out with the presence of the Civil Guard, two tugs and possibly a team of divers from Cartagena and ROV (submarine with robotic submersible system) will intervene. In addition, the ship will try to get up as soon as possible, although the operation will not be easy nor can it be carried out immediately in front of the 79-meter length of the boat. In fact, this morning a meeting was held at the scene of the events between all the parties involved. This newspaper has been able to confirm this by talking to the president of the Port Authority, Rafa Simó, who has confirmed that “The priority will be to find the missing workers.”
At this time the firefighters of the Provincial Council, Castelló City Council and the Special Groups of Underwater Activities (GEAS) of the Civil Guard have withdrawn, since it is Maritime Rescue who has assumed the tasks, although the aforementioned teams are still prepared in case they request their collaboration.
Remember that this Friday a large rescue unit consisting of 150 people to try to find the stevedore and the sailor who fell into the water after capsizing the Panamanian-flagged Nazmiye Ana boat in the late afternoon while loading work was being completed, as only one container was missing. The accident occurred at the Centennial Pier and apparently the cargo moved. Several witnesses spoke of a possible breakage of the ropes (an extreme that could be confirmed based on the image to which this newspaper has had access and which accompanies this same information), and the ship (79 meters long, 11 wide and 4.2 deep) heeled 90 degrees and capsized.
Some members of the crew (made up of nine sailors of Turkish, Indian and Egyptian nationality) and two stevedores who were on the ship at that moment were able to jump, but two other men remained inside the merchant. It is about a dockworker from Castellón between 35 and 40 years old and a sailor from the Nazmiye Ana. As the hours go by, finding them alive seems like an impossible mission.
In the accident, and as reported by the Port Authority and the Castelló General Hospital, two other port workers were also injured. This is a 46-year-old stevedore who was transferred in serious condition to the hospital in the capital after suffering a blow to the head, being unconscious and swallowing a lot of water, and was admitted to the ICU. His 31-year-old partner, who was the first to help him, was treated in the emergency room. Another man was assisted at the scene of the accident by emergency teams after suffering an anxiety attack.
The causes that caused the accident are yet to be clarified. Some witnesses to the accident claim that everything was very fast and that the boat overturned when the last container was loaded.
The Castellón Port Authority activated the blue phase of its maritime interior plan, deploying anti-pollution barriers, in anticipation of a fuel spill into the sea (everything indicates that if it exists, it is of little importance), while they continue to search for the two missing. The Emergency Coordination Center decreed situation 0. They mobilized the rescue means from the port of Castellón, as well as the members of the Emergency services and the Maritime Rescue Society (Sasemar). Two Red Cross rescuers jumped into the water to make acoustic signals on the hull, without getting a response. The Provincial Firefighters Consortium mobilized a device from the Aquatic Rescue Unit (URA) with a boat, five diver units, a URA van and 3 command and coordination units. Two SAMU units and three Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulances also attended.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.