Rescue of Burning Bulk Carrier by NATO Forces

On early morning 30 March 2013, off the island of Masirah (Oman), the Liberian fllaged cargo bulk carrier ‘Atlantic Confidence’, reported to have a fire in the engine room and requested assistance. Upon receiving the message, Admiral Antonio Natale, Commander of the NATO Task Force engaged in the fight against piracy off the Horn of Africa, promptly ordered the nearest vessel under his command, the frigate USS Nicholas to proceed at maximum speed and assist.

2013.04.01 -  Rescue of Burning Bulk Carrier by NATO Forces Figure 1

Some minutes later, the Captain of ‘Atlantic Confidence’ ordered his crew of 21 Turkish seamen to abandon ship; assessing that the fire was now out of control.

The U.S. Frigate took command of the rescue operation and dispatched its helicopter to cover the 80 miles to the vessel and assess the immediate needs. Upon reaching the scene it saw that the merchant vessel was already partially sunk but still floating.

After verifying that the survivors appeared to be safely in life-boats and did not need immediate medical assistance, the NATO ship coordinated the embarkation operations on board an oil tanker called ‘Pluto’ transiting in the area and also manned entirely by a Turkish crew. ‘Pluto’ will assist in providing safe onward passage for all the survivors.

2013.04.01 -  Rescue of Burning Bulk Carrier by NATO Forces Figure 2

USS Nicholas

2013.04.01 -  Rescue of Burning Bulk Carrier by NATO Forces Figure 3

Update 1: 04 Apr. 2013

Oman’s transport ministry reported that the Turkish bulk carrier ‘Atlantic Confidence’ sank off Oman after the engine room fire and the evacuation of its 21-strong crew.

Bulk carrier “Atlantik Confidence” was carrying a cargo of steel reinforcing rods from Turkey to Oman for the construction of a new terminal building at Muscat airport.

Source: NATO, Sea News Turkey, Maritime Connector

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