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Ship collision will cost company US$7m

The ship collision off the Dubai coast last week is estimated to have caused US$7 million (Dh25.7m) in damage to one of the vessels.

DUBAI // The ship collision off the Dubai coast last week is estimated to have caused US$7 million (Dh25.7m) in damage to one of the vessels, according to its owners. The Sima Saman, a small container ship, collided with an oil tanker, the Kashmir, nine kilometres from the coast on Feb 10. Investigations on board the Sima Saman, which was brought into port last week, are ongoing.

The owners of the Kashmir said they were still unable to board their ship for a proper assessment and were awaiting the outcome of the investigation. Separately, Dubai Ports Police confirmed yesterday that another ship collision took place near Dubai this week, causing moderate damage. Amir Maghami, the managing director of Dubai-based Simatech Shipping and Forwarding, the owners of the Sima Saman, said they now had full access to the ship and were in the process of assessing the damage. He said the cargo had yet to be inspected and that the owners hoped to unload it over the coming days.

"We are still waiting to get the full details of the damage caused to the ship and the cargo and we will get that once we have it in a dry dock so we can inspect it properly," he said. "It is still too early to say, but preliminary estimates of the damage will cost around $7m to the vessel and the cargo on board." Mr Maghami said he was still trying to contact owners of the cargo to open the containers together to put a value to the damage there. Both shipping companies are in the process of working with the authorities and insurance companies.

Loris Servadei, representing the owners of the Kashmir, Martinoli Consulting, based in Genoa, Italy, said: "We are working hard to organise everything and also trying to get on board." He added that investigators had recovered the vessel data recorder from the Kashmir and were waiting for the results. Mr Servadei said his firm was finalising information for the insurance. "We have no idea of the cost of the damage yet," he said, adding that he expected to get access to the ship next week and hoped the cargo could be removed at that time.

The Kashmir was carrying 30,000 tonnes of liquefied natural gas from Iran to Jebel Ali when it collided with the Sima Saman as it approached the port. The Kashmir suffered substantial damage to the middle of its port side, but the area where it was hit was empty of cargo, and environmental assessments suggest that little was spilt into the sea. Both ships were damaged by a fire that was started by the collision.

The Sima Saman suffered significant damage to its bow, and it was reported that around 20 containers had been damaged by the fire that could be seen from the Dubai shoreline. Mr Maghami said they hoped to move the cargo next week and get it to its destination. "The cost of the damage is a lot and it could not have happened at a worse time," he said. Meanwhile, the state news agency, WAM, reported yesterday that another two ships collided near Dubai at around 4pm on Wednesday.

Col Mohamed al Zaabi, head of Dubai Ports Police station, said the collision occurred between Hamriya Beach and the Deira Palm Island and caused minor damage to the vessels. Investigations are under way to determine the cause of the accident. One of the ships, Rajeeb 1, was travelling from Basra in Iraq and was carrying dates and empty containers. The second, the Aziz, was travelling from Hamriya port to Bandar Abbas in Iran and was carrying 1,800 tonnes of iron. In all, 33 people were rescued from the vessels.

eharnan@thenational.ae

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