24 July 2006




VESSEL & Interveners

1 - IMO Number : 9051375 2 - Name of Ship : COUGAR ACE
3 - Call Sign : 9VKE 4 - Gross Tonnage : 55328
5 - Type of Ship : Vehicles Carrier 6 -Year of Build : 1993
7 - Flag : Singapore 8 -Status of Ship : In Service
9 -   Registred Owner : MOB COUGAR 10 - Address :




11 - Ship Manager :


12 - Address :

200, Contonment Road




13 - Classification Society : Nippon Kaiji Kookai 14 - P&I

Japan Ship Owners P&I Association

15 - Surveyor :   16 - Sollicitor :  
17 - Hull Underwriters :   18 - Cargo Underwriters :  
19 - Others : TITAN, As Salvors 20 - Others :

United Command (MOL, USCG...)



NB : Information 1 to 14 are extracted from the database EQUASIS. Information are updated at the date of the casualty.

Information from 15 to 20 were found on public websites




The 24 July 2006, while she was near the Alaskan coasts (48 12.7N 174 12.5W) the COUGAR ACE suffered a problem with his ballast system (obviously) and the vessel suffered a listing of 85°. The strinken vessel was towed by TITAN, in charge of the salvage and towage operation. All the operations were under the survey the US COAST, as the Alaskan coast is a highly environmentally sensitive area. At this time, there is a fear regarding the state of the cars onboard the vessel.....Some clients will have to wait a little bit more...





Agrandir le plan




Date :

August 2006 Source :

Lloyds List


London, Aug 14 -- Coast Guard Alaska press release, dated Aug 11, states: The Unified Command, working to right vehicle carrier Cougar Ace, travelled to Dutch Harbor Wednesday (Aug 9) to oversee the mooring of Cougar Ace and the continued salvage efforts. Swells on Monday forced the discontinuation of salvage team efforts and the relocation of the Cougar Ace to Wide Bay, Unalaska Island. Cougar Ace remains moored at the Icicle Seafood's Mooring Buoys in Wide Bay north-west of Dutch Harbor. The Coast Guard cutter Sycamore, vessel Makushin Bay, tug Gladiator, tug Sea Victory, and vessel Redeemer with Kashega Barge are on-scene supporting salvage and pollution response contingency operations. Sycamore is conducting an hourly securite broadcast notifying mariners that there is a .5 nautical mile security zone around the vessel. The salvage team is continuing to remove water from the No.9 cargo deck today. As of 1700 yesterday the vessel was listing at 58 degrees. No pollution or debris have been sighted in the discharged water. As the vessel is dewatered computer models are updated for the next stage of re-ballasting. The Incident Command Post and Joint Information Center in Anchorage have been disbanded.


London, Aug 15 -- A United States Coast Guard Press Release, dated Aug 13, states: Vehicle carrier Cougar Ace: As of late Aug 13, pumping operations have reduced the list to about 18 degrees.


London, Aug 11 : A press report, dated Aug 10, states: Vehicle carrier Cougar Ace is now moored at Icicle Seafoods in Wide Bay. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation says the ship is now at a less-severe 57-degree list. Salvage crews are trying to rig discharge hoses closer to the waterline and increase the pumping rate to rid the cargo deck of water. Crews are not sure if the source of the water was from ocean water or ballast tank overflow.


London, Aug 8 - A press report, dated today, states: Salvage teams, assisted by the U.S. Coast Guard, began to pump water from vehicle carrier Cougar Ace, yesterday, in an effort to right the vessel, which is listing at 60 degrees. Salvors plan to pump water from the number nine cargo deck and transfer sea water into the starboard ballast tank to right vessel, which will then be towed to a port. The operation is expected to take 30 to 40 hours, according to a joint statement from MOL and the Coast Guard. MOL has yet to decide which port to tow the vessel to once it is back on keel. The vessel was located 13 miles northeast of Umnak Island yesterday. The unified operation command said weather conditions were favorable, but forecasts 20-25 knot winds and seven-foot seas today.


London, Aug 9 - A Coast Guard Anchorage press release, dated Aug 8, states: The Unified Command, working to right vehicle carrier Cougar Ace, has reported that sea swells yesterday forced the abandonment of salvage team efforts. As a result Cougar Ace will be brought to a mooring in Wide Bay, Unalaska Island. Sea and weather in Wide Bay should permit safe salvage operations. The mooring operations will take most of the afternoon. Two towing configurations will be employed simultaneously to control the vessel as it is towed to Wide Bay. Crews will also use a double mooring on location there. The tugs will remain on scene and a barge loaded with pollution response gear will be stationed on site. The salvage team began transferring water from the No.9 cargo deck around 1500 yesterday; however it soon became apparent that choppy seas in the area posed a risk to the safety of the team. Salvage vessel Makushin Bay, which was being used as a staging area for the pneumatic pumps, was unable to remain close enough to Cougar Ace without striking the ship. With safety of the salvage team and protection of the local environment as paramount concerns the Unified Command of federal and state agencies and the ship's operator, decided to suspend pumping by 1800 hrs and begin arranging for the vessel to be brought to a safe mooring in Wide Bay. Officials believe that the relocation of the ship will allow the transfer of ballast water to be completed safely and quickly, allowing company officials and others to board the ship and more fully investigate the condition of the vessel. Current weather on scene consists of 15 knot winds from the southwest with seas around two feet. They have overcast skies and patchy fog though visibility remains at eight miles. Several vessels remain on-site to assist Cougar Ace as needed and to protect the local environment and marine habitat including the Coast Guard cutters Morgenthau and Sycamore, vessel Redeemer and private tugs Sea Victory and Gladiator.


London, Aug 7 - Coast Guard Anchorage press releases state: Dated Aug 4: Vehicle carrier Cougar Ace continued its movement to the north throughout yesterday making its way toward the Bering Sea to reduce the impact of swells that the ship had been consistently encountering in the North Pacific Ocean, south of the Aleutian Islands chain. As of 1000 today, the ship was approximately 30 nautical miles south of Samalga Pass. Ocean swells, ranging from 6 to 12 feet pose no threat to the vessel's stability but have hampered efforts to install pumps needed to make the initial transfer of water which will help improve the list of the ship. Weather conditions are reported as southwest winds at 20 knots. Seas are two feet with swells to three feet. The sky is overcast but visibility remains at eight miles. Crews are working currently to rig a second towline from tug IOSea Victory to Cougar Ace to improve safety and be more effective in the changing sea conditions. That process is expected to take the better part of the day. Once the new towline is secured crews will wait for the next flood tide through Samalga Pass to transit to the Bering Sea. Sea Victory has two independent towing systems. The second towline is a precautionary measure for the transit through the pass. As the ship moved northward yesterday, salvage team members were able to continue work to prepare to shift the liquid load of water to right the ship. After exiting Samalga Pass the tow master and the Unified Command will continue to assess the condition of the vessel, the tow and the weather as they progress on an easterly track along the Aleutian Islands. Officials stress that adequate maritime assets will remain with Cougar AceP. to monitor and control the vessel and to ensure the protection of all marine resources in the area. Coast Guard cutters Morgenthau and Sycamore remain on-scene in addition to tugs Sea Victory and Emma FossP. and the utility vessels Redeemer and Makushin Bay. A third tug, the Gladiator, is due to arrive alongside Cougar AceP. on Sunday morning. Unified Command members are evaluating whether or not to tow the ship to a nearby protected harbor. The decision will not be made until additional surveys of the ship have been made and the salvage team has completed its initial attempt to right the vessel at sea.


Dated Aug 6: Officials of the Unified Command have directed the movement of Cougar AceP. through Samalga Pass in the Aleutian Island chain to calmer waters north of Unalaska Island where efforts to right the ship will continue. By yesterday evening local time, the ship had cleared the northern end of the pass and was making its way in a northeasterly direction staying well distant from sensitive marine life and waterfowl resources in the area. The Unified Command determined on Aug 3 that the process of reducing the ship's 60 degree list could be expedited and carried out more safely inside the Bering Sea instead of the North Pacific Ocean where sea swells have been more unpredictable over the past several days. As of 1000 today the ship was located approximately 10 miles northwest of Umnak Island. Seas are calm and visibility is reported as good on-scene. Incident Commander Capt. Mark DeVries of the United States Coast Guard reports that the ship's salvage team will continue efforts to rig pumps on-board the ship that will dewater the vessel's No.9 cargo deck and adjust the ship's ballast condition to right the ship and restore its upright stable condition. Where the ship will travel following the offshore salvage work has yet to be determined and will depend on the success of water pumping efforts as well as other factors including weather and sea conditions.


London, Aug 2 - A Coast Guard Anchorage press release, dated Aug 1, states: The Unified Command is continuing to monitor the condition of vehicle carrier Cougar Ace, evaluate options for improving the vessel's list and plan for a movement of the vessel. Using information obtained from the initial vessel survey, which took place on Sunday evening (Jul 30), the decision was made to take advantage of a favourable weather window and rig a tow from tug Emma Foss to Cougar Ace as a test of the towing arrangement and to gain some additional control of the vessel. Emma Foss is maintaining the tow at minimum speeds to ensure a safe towing configuration on a north-east heading. The tow will shift to tug Sea Victory when it arrives on scene later today. The Unified Command is considering three primary options for the vessel: Towing the vessel to a port of refuge and righting it in port; righting the vessel on scene and then towing it to a port for further assessment and repair; and partially righting the vessel to improve its condition for towing it to a port of refuge for righting. One of the major factors being considered is the extreme angle of the vessel and the difficulty for crews to work on board. The angle also affects what equipment might be needed to effectively right and tow the vessel. A final decision is dependent on several variables including weather, approved ports, stability, safety and expected degree of success. Port assessments continue. A scientific team including the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, NOAA, Polaris Applied Sciences, Alaska Department of Natural Resources and Alaska Department of Fish and Game is part of the incident command structure in Anchorage and is keeping the Unified Command apprised of the natural resources and environmental issues in the port areas being considered. Additional salvage and dive personnel are en route to assist as needed and conduct more survey work to determine the best options for righting and moving the vessel. An analysis of the vessel's fuel and ballast tanks has been undertaken to determine what weights would need to be shifted to right the vessel. As of 0800 hrs, weather conditions on scene consist of south-west winds at 15 knots. The seas are at four feet. The closest point of land is Seaguam Island, 115 nautical miles to the north. Seaguam Island is the next island east of Amlia Island in the Aleutians.


London, Jul 31 - Following received from Coast Guard Juneau, timed 1700, UTC: A member of a salvage team on board vehicle carrier Cougar Ace was killed yesterday following a fall. The man was from vessel Makushin Bay, out of Anchorage.


London, Aug 1 - A press report, dated Jul 31, states: A member of a salvage team examining vehicle carrier Cougar Ace, drifting in the Aleutian Islands, slipped down the vesel's deck and suffered a fatal blow to his head, the Coast Guard said today. The four-member salvage team was preparing to leave the vessel, which is listing almost on its side, when the naval architect lost his footing yesterday and was knocked unconscious. He was flown to a nearby Coast Guard cutter equipped with a surgeon and a clinic and pronounced dead about an hour later, Coast Guard spokeswoman Sara Francis said. "They were on the covered main deck and he slid down a considerable distance, somewhere in the range of 80 feet," said Charles Nalen, vice president of environmental safety quality assurance for Crowley Maritime, owner of Titan Salvage. Members of the salvage team were equipped with safety harnesses and clipped onto a safety line as they moved along the deck. "For some reason, he became disconnected from the safety line," Nalen said. The victim's name was being withheld until relatives could be notified. The vessel continued to drift slowly east today in relatively calm seas 140 miles south of Amlia Island in the Aleutians.


London, Aug 1 - A Coast Guard Anchorage press release, dated Jul 31, states: A four-man salvage team was able to access and survey vehicle carrier Cougar Ace Jul 30, determining that at least some cargo remains in place and that the vessel remains stable. However, while conducting the survey, one of the team members fell and died from injuries sustained in the fall. The team attempted to board the vessel from vessel Makushin Bay but were unable to climb up the structure. They successfully accessed the vessel using the HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from the Coast Guard cutter Morgenthau. The salvage team commenced a survey of the vessel's engine-room and some of the cargo decks. After the survey was completed and the team was disembarking the Cougar Ace a member of the team slipped and fell. He was knocked unconscious. The other team members conducted CPR on the scene. He was immediately medevaced to the Morgenthau. After conducting CPR for over an hour, he was pronounced dead by the Coast Guard flight surgeon. A safety assessment is under way. The initial survey was successful. The team looked at Nos 1 and 9 decks. The team determined that the cargo on No 1 deck, the highest deck, remains in place. Cargo on the ninth deck has also remained in place. The engine-room is intact and there is no sign of water. There are a total of fourteen car cargo decks on the Cougar Ace. Tug Sea Victory is expected to arrive on scene late today from Seattle. The Coast Guard cutter Sycamore, a 225-foot seagoing buoy tender from Cordova, has arrived on scene. The Unified Command is continuing to develop plans to right the vessel and safely tow it. No determination has been made as to where the vessel will be towed. Weather conditions on scene are reported as seven knot winds from the south-west. Sea state is one foot seas and swells. Conditions are overcast with eight nautical miles of visibility.


Date :

July 2006

Source :



London, Jul 29 - A press report, dated Jul 28, states: The disabled, crewless vehicle carrier Cougar Ace loaded with nearly 5,000 cars has crossed into U.S. waters, drifting today toward Alaska's Aleutian chain. The vessel was still listing sideways as it floated in choppy seas about 150 miles south of Atka Island, the Coast Guard said. The 654-foot car carrier had zigzagged 120 miles since it tilted sharply Sunday (Jul 23) night, said Petty Officer Richard Reichenbach. The Coast Guard cutter Rush was tracking the vessel as it slowly moved north-east. "There's always concern, but we do have an asset on scene," Coast Guard Lt. Heather Neely said. "We're doing all we can and it's not drifting very fast." The vessel's owner, Tokyo-based Mitsui O.S.K Lines, sent out a tug this morning with a salvage engineer on board from Dutch Harbor on Unalaska Island, about 400 miles away. The goal is to secure the vessel's cargo of mostly Mazda vehicles as soon as possible, said company spokesman Greg Beuerman. The cars are stacked 14 stories high in the ship, which stretches 155 feet between its hull and antenna. A salvage tow from Seattle is expected to reach the Cougar Ace no earlier than Wednesday (Aug 2), while the Dutch Harbor tug is expected to arrive tomorrow morning. The engineer en route today will work on a plan to regain stability for the vessel for towing it to a yet undetermined port, Beuerman said. It is speculated that the Cougar Ace had discharged too much water from ballast tanks at the bottom of the vessel, causing it to suddenly list in the space of 10 minutes, according to Beuerman. He said company officials believe the vessel rolled on the swell of the sea while the crew was adjusting the ballast tank, which regulates the ship's weight and balance. The condition of the cargo is unknown.


London, July 29 - A Coast Guard Anchorage press release, dated July 28, states: The Coast Guard, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation have come together to establish a unified command to respond to the vehicle carrier Cougar Ace situation in Anchorage. They are monitoring the situation and stationing response assets accordingly. Cougar Ace was at last report 130 nautical miles south of Amlia Island in the Aleutian Island chain. It has been adrift since approximately 0100 Monday (July 24). The vessel is being pushed by the wind at about two knots. Since about 1600 Wednesday the vessel was on a mostly northern route. At the time of this release the wind had shifted and has been pushing the vessel east for the last five hours. Coast Guard cutter Rush remains on scene monitoring Cougar Ace for signs of pollution and tracking its movement. Four other vessels are en route to Cougar Ace's position. Some estimated times of arrival have changed since early reports today. Coast Guard cutter Morgenthau departed Dutch Harbor late Thursday night after taking on fuel and stores. Salvage equipment was placed on board in Dutch Harbor. They were diverted from a previous mission in Alaska waters to respond to the drifting vessel. They will relieve the cutter Rush. Tug Sea Victory is a Crowley Marine tug from Seattle. It was dispatched Wednesday and is expected to arrive on scene Monday (July 31). Tug Emma Foss, a Foss Maritime tug from Dutch Harbor, departed Dutch Harbor late yesterday and arrived in Adak early today. It took on salvage and towing equipment and is currently en route to Cougar Ace. The vessel is expected on scene tomorrow. Vessel Makushin Bay belonging to Magone Marine, homeported in Dutch Harbor, departed Dutch Harbor late yesterday with salvage specialists from Titan Maritime onboard. They will also arrive on scene early Sunday. Once on scene the various salvage experts will assess the condition of the vessel and report salvage options to the Unified Command for action. Additional salvage equipment is being staged in Dutch Harbor. Cougar Ace is continuing to emit a non-recoverable sheen as it drifts. The sheen is approximately four miles in length and is light and patchy. Weather conditions on scene are reported as 13-20 knot winds from the west. Sea state is 11-14 feet. Conditions are overcast with intermittent rain and patchy fog. Weather conditions are not expected to change significantly over the weekend.


London, July 30 - A Coast Guard Anchorage press release, dated July 29, statesa: The Unified Command is continuing to work the vehicle carrier Cougar Ace incident. Plans for surveying the vessel are being made. Experts are running models to determine the best way to right the vessel and tow it to safety. Contingency plans to respond to a potential oil spill or the vessel grounding also continue to be developed. Cougar Ace was at last report 126 nautical miles south of Amlia Island. The vessel is being pushed by the wind at about 1.7 knots. Since about 1600 Wednesday the vessel was on a mostly northern route. Yesterday it took a east north east course. It is still on that course. Coast Guard cutter Morgenthau is on scene monitoring Cougar Ace for signs of pollution and tracking its movement. Five other vessels are being used to respond to Cougar Ace. Some vessels are on scene and some are still en route. Morgenthau relieved cutter Rush at noon today. Tug Sea Victory is still expected to arrive on scene Monday (July 31). Tug Emma Foss from Seattle not Dutch Harbor (as before reported). The vessel was diverted from another mission when it was in the vicinity of Adak Wednesday. In Adak it took on salvage and towing equipment. It arrived on scene today. The crew is currently conducting a detailed survey of Cougar Ace to document the vessels condition and access points. Vessel Makushin Bay will arrive on scene early tomorrow. Coast Guard cutter Sycamore is en route with spill equipment on board. It is expected to arrive Wednesday. Once Makushin Bay is on scene the various salvage experts will assess the condition of the vessel and report salvage options to the Unified Command for action. Those reports will provide for accurate plans to right the vessel and safely tow it. Additional salvage equipment is being staged in Dutch Harbor. Weather conditions on scene are reported as 12 knot winds from the southwest. Sea state is one foot seas with three foot swells. Conditions are overcast with intermittent rain and dense fog. The amount of fuel on board has been confirmed as 113,500 gallons of Intermediate Fuel Oil 380 and 33,000 gallons of marine diesel.


London, Jul 27 - A press report, dated today, states: Vehicle carrier Cougar Ace was thrown sideways when the vessel's ballast tank was adjusted in the open seas of the North Pacific, a representative of the vessel's owner said yesterday. "There clearly was imbalance in the intake of ballast water. The company investigation ultimately will tell us what caused that imbalance," said Greg Beuerman, a spokesman for Tokyo-based Mitsui O.S.K. Lines. Two days after the crew was hoisted to safety, the disabled vessel remained floating on its side, 370 km south of Adak Island. Watertight compartments and doors in the vessel could be contributing to its buoyancy, Beuerman said.


London, Jul 28 - Rules designed to protect the marine environment could have caused vehicle carrier Cougar Ace to roll on to its side. Ballast water was almost certainly responsible for destabilising the ship, which is now listing heavily more than 200 miles offshore. Mitsui OSK Lines, operator of the stricken vessel, confirmed yesterday that the ship had not collided with some object or grounded. After talking to the ship’s master, MOL president Akimitsu Ashida said instability developed during a ballast water adjustment process. Ships are required to change ballast water before entering some ports to ensure alien species are not released into local waters. Cougar Ace was heading to Vancouver and then on to the US west coast ports of Tacoma and Port Hueneme, a particularly environmentally sensitive part of the world, at the time of last Sunday's accident. MOL said yesterday that the the ship, carrying nearly 5,000 vehicles, was still floating although listing. Another expert contacted by Lloyd's List, a former master mariner, concurred that the accident appeared to be a ballasting error.

The ship would have started sinking by now if it had been holed. "There is very little evidence of water ingress from the outside," he said. "If you have water ingress to the hull the ship would not be far from sinking." He added that in such cases the edge of the deck was considered the tipping point. Once the deck reached the water there were many places where water could seep in and flood the ship. The ship's deck remains out of the water with the vessel listing at around a 60 degree angle. Rescue efforts have yet to begin, but salvage experts said yesterday the 13-year-old car carrier could probably be saved as long as a port of refuge could be found that would accept the crippled ship. The first step would be to correct the ballast situation, "a very difficult exercise" but one that could be done if a decision was taken to tow Cougar Ace into port. Only then would cranes be brought in to return the vessel to an upright position. "It is not a lost cause," one salvor said. "There is always the possibility to do something if circumstances allow." But persuading a port to let the ship to enter may be as big a challenge as the physical rescue. The US

Coast Guard said that some observers had spotted fuel leaking from its tanks of the ship, which was carrying carrying 430 tonnes of fuel oil and 112 tonnes of diesel. A salvage team from Crowley Marine is not due to reach Cougar Ace, about 230 miles south of the Aleutian Islands, until next Wednesday. The ship was loaded with Mazda cars being exported from Japan to North America. More than half are Mazda 3 models, the car manufacturer's best selling vehicle, another quarter are Mazda's new 2007 CX7, a crossover utility vehicle. The shipment is fully insured against loss, spokesman Jeremy Barnes said. The company has been unable to verify the condition of the cargo with MOL since the accident.


London, July 28 - A Mitsui O.S.K. Lines press release, dated Tokyo today, states: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL, President: Akimitsu Ashida) announced that the MOL-operated vehicle carrier Cougar Ace is floating stably although the vessel remains listed as before. The

United States Coast Guard mentions in their home page that 'There have been no sign of the vessel's fuel tanks losing containment at this time? In order to secure cargo as soon as possible, MOL has arranged to dispatch a towing vessel from Seattle. In addition, a tug with a salvage engineer on board is to sail from Dutch Harbour shortly to investigate the current situation and to make a concrete plan for Cougar Ace to regain stability and for being towed to a safe port which is yet to be decided. Additionally, MOL continues to investigate the cause of the vessel listing by interviewing crew members. As previously reported the probable cause of the listing has been identified as instability which occurred during the ballast water adjustment process.

MOL officials believe the listing was caused by discharging too much seawater from ballast tanks located in the bottom of the vessel. In the process of the adjustment work, the vessel rolled on the swell of the sea and suddenly listed.


London, Jul 28 - A press report, dated today, states: A shift in wind direction on Wednesday (Jul 26) started pushing vehicle carrier Cougar

Ace back towards the Aleutian Islands, and as of late yesterday afternoon the vessel was only 153 miles south of Atka, the Coast Guard said. "There's a chance it could end up aground," Petty Officer Sara

Francis said, but it was likely winds would dissipate or change direction again as the moves gets closer to the islands and prevent that. Yesterday afternoon, winds were out of the south-west at about 22 knots, Francis said, with the vessel?s hull acting as a sail, and it was moving towards shore at about 1.9 knots. The Coast Guard cutter

Rush was on scene tracking the situation. According to the National Weather Service online forecast for the Aleutians, winds were expected to pick up to about 30 knots after midnight last night, then reduce to 20-25 knots today and tonight. The winds could shift back and blow from the west again by sometime tomorrow, according to the forecast. That could interrupt the vessel's drift toward shore. The Coast Guard and the vessel's owners "are working to find a solution and devise contingency plans if it grounds," Francis said. "With any luck, it won't." A salvage expert and a naval engineer were to fly over the vessel yesterday and try to come up with solutions if the vessel continues its northerly drift, she said. A salvage vessel was due to depart from Dutch Harbor last night. The state Department of

Environmental Conservation also is watching the situation closely, and with some concern, said Leslie Pearson, the agency's program manager for spill prevention and response. Francis said the wind shift happened around 1600 on Wednesday, after the vessel had been drifting almost due east since tipping on its side. By about the same time yesterday, it had moved from about 230 miles offshore to only 153 miles off Atka, she said. The vessel's position on the water had not changed. It was still listing about 60 degrees to port, Francis said, and trailing a very light sheen. The vessel is carrying 430 tonnes of fuel oil and 112 tonnes of diesel fuel but little is believed to have spilled. "It's still a really light, broken rainbow sheen," Francis said. "That means a relatively little amount of oil."


London, Jul 26 - Following received from Coast Guard Juneau, timed 1630, UTC: Vehicle carrier Cougar Ace: Situation unchanged, with list still about 60 deg. Coast Guard cutter remains on site and commercial salvors are due to arrive Jul 31.


Seattle, Jul 26 - The 23 crew members rescued from vehicle carrier Cougar Ace are being treated in Anchorage. They are suffering from cuts, bruises, thirst and hunger, with muscles deeply strained from hours of clinging to the severely listing vessel. Less than 10 minutes passed between the initial listing of the vessel and its nearly laying on its side in the water, a crew member stated. Very little time was available to send out distress signals. The crew members also noted the rough sea conditions. The master stated that the vessel began to list as the ballast was being adjusted to conform to US codes as the vessel was leaving International waters. At the same time it was hit by a large wave. With the crew safe, salvage attempts are under consideration, said a Coast Guard spokesman. A salvage agreement was being finalised with commercial salvors at this time. It is believed/hoped that the vehicles (4,813) are still secured below decks with chains, fears being that they have broken loose. A two-mile oil sheen described as "light" was reported around the vessel late Monday (Jul 24) by a Coast Guard cutter.


London, Jul 27 - Vehicle carrier Cougar Ace remained adrift 240 miles south of Adak in the North Pacific yesterday with only a small US Coast

Guard cutter crew on hand to monitor its fate. Petty Officer Thomas McKenzie of the Coast Guard said there was a "slight drift" in the area with the stricken car carrier moving east by south-east "very slowly" but the situation was not considered dramatic just yet. Mitsui OSK

Lines, the vessel's part owner, is said to have hired a salvor, expected to reach the site "within a week". However, the company has not informed the USCG of this salvor's identity or of the estimated date of arrival of the savage vessel, Petty Officer McKenzie said. Late on Tuesday night (Jul 25) the vessel was reported listing at 60 deg with the keel and propeller out of the water. It was "stable and did not appear to be sinking", the Coast Guard said. A small boat crew deployed from the USCG cutter Rush, the only craft at present on site, described the oil sheen round the vessel as "very slight." There was very little the Rushcould do other than "wait and watch," Petty Officer

McKenzie said. There is no one on board Cougar Ace to help in efforts to secure the vessel and the USCG has enforced a blanket ban on anyone boarding the ship at this time. "The ship is far enough out that we feel confident it would not be near land for another week," Petty

Officer McKenzie said, stressing that any such estimates must necessarily be taken as speculation.


London, July 27 - A Mitsui O.S.K. Lines press release, dated Tokyo today, states: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL, President: Akimitsu Ashida) reported that the MOL-operated vehicle carrier Cougar Ace is floating stably though the vessel remains listed. The company's investigation into the incident has just started. Yesterday evening the company had its first contact with the master, who was rescued on July 25. He confirmed that the vessel started listing during work to adjust the ballast water. MOL considers that possible cause of the listing is instability developed during the ballast water adjustment process.


London, July 27 - A press report, dated July 26, states: Vehicle carrier Cougar Ace foundered in rough seas off Alaska's Aleutian

Islands and the crew were evacuated, leaving 4,700 Mazda Motor Corp vehicles onboard the listing vessel. Mazda said the cars were being shipped from its home country for sale in the U.S. and Canada. "A salvage ship is on the way, but we won’t know the status of the vehicles for about a week," Jay Amestoy, Mazda's vice president for

U.S. government affairs, said today. About 60% of the vehicles are Mazda3 small cars and 25% are CX-7 sport-utility wagons, said Amestoy, who didn't know the shipment's value or Mazda's insurer for the cargo.

The ship was scheduled for stops in Vancouver; Tacoma, Washington; and Port Hueneme, north of Los Angeles, Mazda said.


London, July 27 - A press report, dated today, states: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, said yesterday it had hired Crowley Maritime Corp, and Crowley is enlisting its salvage subsidiary Titan Maritime LLC to right vehicle carrier Cougar Ace and tow it to a port. Crowley tug Sea Victory left

Seattle on Tuesday night and was expected to reach Cougar Ace on Aug 2, Greg Beuerman, a spokesman for Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, said.


London, Jul 26 - Another huge bill is looming for insurers if the 4,813 vehicles on board vehicle carrier Cougar Ace are lost or badly damaged. The casualty hit the market as it is still coming to terms with the scale of cargo claims emerging from the fire on container carrier Hyundai Fortune in March. Claims from the boxship blaze could reach $100m and there are fears that the Cougar Ace figure could be at least $75m if the vehicles on the Japanese-controlled ship are of high value. In insurance terms, the incident recalled the sinking of the car carrier Tricolor in the English Channel in December 2002 after a collision. Its cargo of 2,870 luxury cars worth a total of around £80m

($100.5m) had to be scrapped to avoid the possibility of their re-use by criminals, while the cost of wreck removal exceeded the then $30m pooling limit of the International Group of P&I Clubs. Cougar Ace is reportedly entered in Japan P&I Club, which could have a moderate exposure only unless there is any pollution. It is thought likely that the hull insurance is placed wholly or in great majority in the Japanese market. Many insurers are cautious of covering car carriers due to an enhanced total loss risk. They say the hull design and nature of the cargo make it hard to compartmentalise problems or control a list.


London, July 26 - A Mitsui O.S.K. Lines press release, dated Tokyo today, states: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL, President: Akimitsu Ashida) announced that all the crew of the MOL-operated vehicle carrier

Cougar Ace has been safely evacuated from the ship. At 1400, JST, yesterday helicopters from the U.S. Coastal Guard (USCG) and U.S. Air

Force (USAF) began lifting the crew to safety. An hour later, all officers and crew had been removed from the ship. The 23 seafarers on board were taken to Adak Island in the Aleutians. The hull of Cougar Ace is floating stably although the vessel is listing. The vessel will be towed to a safe port for recovery in the future, and at the same time, the company will start full-fledged cause-unfolding at the same time.


London, July 26 - A Coast Guard Juneau press release, dated July 25, states: Vehicle carrier Cougar Ace maintains its position 240 miles south of Adak. As of 1200yesterday, the ship is listing 60 degrees to port. The keel and the propeller are out of the water. It is stable, and does not appear to be sinking. After accomplishing the primary mission of safely evacuating the stranded crewmembers, the Coast Guard continues to monitor the vessel for possible environmental threats and hazards to navigation. For this purpose, the Coast Guard cutter Rush is on scene with Cougar Ace. A small boat crew, deployed from Rush to more effectively observe Cougar Ace, described the oil sheen around the vessel as "very light". No one will be permitted to board Cougar Ace at this time. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is monitoring the situation, and has offered their help if it becomes necessary. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, the vessel's owners, have contracted a commercial salvage company. The salvage company is expected to arrive on scene within a week. Mitsui O.S.K. will also be responsible for further transportation of the rescued crew members. The Coast Guard is actively engaged with state, local and tribal officials in making preparations in case the salvage company requests to tow the vessel into Alaskan waters.


Londson, Jul 26 - A press report, dated today, states: The crew of vehicle carrier Cougar Ace was scrambling to adjust the ballast water, but something went wrong. Cougar Ace flipped onto its side. "Everything went to hell in a hand basket in 10 minutes," said Michael Terry, a nurse practitioner at the health clinic in Adak who talked to the vessel's master and crew about what happened when their vessel and its cargo suddenly rolled late Sunday night. The master, identified by Terry as Nyi Nyi Tun, had just enough time to get off an SOS before the vessel went sideways in choppy seas. Most of the crew was from the Philippines and Myanmar, with a few from Singapore. They tumbled and slid in those chaotic first minutes, suffering bruises, bumps and cuts, straining muscles as they grabbed to hold on or pulled themselves onto the open deck, Terry said. One man was in the shower when the vessel tilted and broke his lower leg, said one of the pararescuemen. As of last night, Cougar Ace appeared stable, on its side in the sea, its engines, keel and rudder all out of the water. The crew of Coast Guard cutter Rush measured the list at 60 degrees.The Coast Guard plans no investigation of the incident, because it was in international waters. The master said the crew was changing out the ballast; a crewman on board said it occurred as the vessel was leaving international waters, to meet U.S. requirements, according to Terry. Before the rescue, the master relayed to the Coast Guard that a ballast change was involved, Harrison said. A salvage crew is expected to reach the vessel in about a week, and Rush will stay until then, the Coast Guard said. While there's an oil sheen around Cougar Ace, it appears to be very light, according to observations from the cutter. The salvors will assess what activities can be taken to right the vessel and maybe take it to port.


London, Jul 25 - Following received from Coast Guard Juneau, timed 1950, UTC: Coast Guard high endurance cutter Rush is standing by vehicle carrier Cougar Ace and will continue to do so until a salvage plan is formulated by her owners. No further reports of any oil pollution.


London, Jul 24 - Following received from Coast Guard Juneau, timed

1535, UTC: Vehicle carrier Cougar Ace (55328 gt, built 1993), Japan for Vancouver, cargo vehicles, is listing 85 deg to port with water ingress in lat 48 12.7N, long 174 12.5W, as of 1452, UTC, today. Crew of 23 persons are currently on starboard bridge wing. Two vessels are proceeding and a Coast Guard C-130 aircraft is flying overhead and will be able to drop liferafts if the crew needs to abandon.


London, Jul 24 - A press report, dated today, states: Vehicle carrier Cougar Ace, with 23 people on board, was listing severely, today, and taking on water south of the Aleutian Islands, Coast Guard officials said. A Coast Guard plane was circling over Cougar Ace, which sent out an SOS late Sunday night (local time), Petty Officer Stephen Harrison said. It was not immediately clear why the ship was listing. Harrison said one crew member had a broken leg, but there were no other reported injuries. A Coast Guard cutter was on its way to the area, 230 miles south of the island of Adak, in the western Aleutians, but it would take several hours to reach the vessel. A merchant vessel was closer and headed to the site this morning, Harrison said. He said the Coast

Guard C-130 aircraft had a pallet packed with survival rafts and suits ready if the vessel began sinking before other help arrived.


London, Jul 24 - Following received from Coast Guard Juneau, timed

1805, UTC: At 1755, UTC, vehicle carrier Cougar Ace in position lat 48

12N, long 174 03W, with a list between 80 and 90 deg. Twenty two crew on board, all on the bridge. Two vessels presently standing off, container carrier Bauhinia Bridge and bulker Ikan Juara. Attempts to get a line on board to remove crew have failed. Weather in area not favourable, with 30 knot winds and seas of eight to 10 feet. Incident started at

0709, UTC, this morning, when master reported ballast shifted. Vessels standing off report that the condition of Cougar Ace appears to be stable.


London, Jul 24 - Following received from Coast Guard Juneau, timed

2100, UTC: Vehicle carrier Cougar Ace is drifting at about three knots.

The crew are still awaiting rescue from the side of the bridge. Helicopters from Kodiak and Anchorage are en route for the rescue. Two-mile sheen of oil has been reported trailing from the vessel.


London, Jul 25 - A press report, dated Jul 24, states: The US Coast Guard and the Alaska National Guard dispatched helicopters today to a car-carrier crippled and stalled in the Bering Sea. Vehicle carrier

Cougar Ace, a 654-foot-long vessel owned by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, began taking on water Sunday about 230 miles from the Aleutian Islands and by

Monday was listing 90 degrees, Alaska Report said. The vessel was en route from Japan to Vancouver, Canada, carrying more than 6,000 cars.

The ship's home port is Singapore. The ship has a crew of 22. One has a broken leg, the report said. Aircraft being sent to the stricken ship included a Coast Guard helicopter, two Black Hawk helicopters from

Elmendorf Air Force Base accompanied by two HC-130 airplanes carrying rescue teams from Elmendorf. The Coast Guard has also dispatched a vessel from Hawaii. Another cargo vessel remained in the vicinity.

Earlier Monday, a Coast Guard plane dropped a pallet of life rafts. The ship is carrying more than 500 tons of fuel. The Coast Guard said that an oil slick was visible on the water's surface spreading more than two miles from the vessel, the report said.


London Jul 25 - A press report, dated today, states: The crew of a cargo vessel listing virtually "on its side" off the coast of Alaska are preparing to abandon ship, Coast Guard officials have said. Vehicle carrier Cougar Ace is listing at an 80-degree angle. The US Coast Guard is sending helicopters to pick up the 22 crew. The vessel is carrying 4,813 cars from Japan to Vancouver, Canada. A merchant ship has been trying to rig a line to the vessel. The cause of the ship?s listing is not yet clear. "For their safety, it's best for them to come off the ship," said Coast Guard Lt. Mara Booth-Miller. Three helicopters are expected to pluck the crew from the vessel's superstructure, where they have gathered since it began listing. All 22 members of the crew are wearing survival suits, officials said. Ocean conditions are choppy, with 8-to-10ft seas. A Coast Guard aircraft had dropped three life rafts for the crew, but these had been pushed beneath the listing vessel by the rough seas. One crew member has suffered a broken leg, the Coast Guard said. The ship is now some 240 miles south of the Aleutian Islands. "It's sitting on its side, basically," US Coast Guard

Petty Officer Stephen Harrison said. The ship is reported to be carrying between 400 and 500 metric tons of fuel oil and 112 tons of diesel fuel. Coast Guard officials said they had seen a two-mile oil slick near the ship. Petty Officer Harrison said the ship had made an

SOS call on Sunday night but the crew did not know from where the ship was taking on water.


London, July 25 - A Coast Guard Juneau press release, dated July 24, states: Vehicle carrier Cougar Ace reported they were taking on water and listing 80 degrees at 2309 yesterday. Cougar Ace left Japan July 22 with 22 people on board. One crewmember has a broken leg, but there are no other reported injuries at this time. All crewmembers are wearing survival suits at this time. A Coast Guard C-130 aircraft out of Kodiak is on scene and has radio contact with Cougar Ace. The C-130 has dropped a liferaft as a safety measure for the possibility of the vessel capsizing. The cause of the damage and the source of incoming water are unknown at this time. There are two merchant vessels standing by on scene to assist Cougar AceP is carrying 430 tonnes of fuel oil and 112 tonnes of diesel. There is a sheen extending two miles from the vessel. Cougar Ace is carrying 4,813 vehicles, en-route to Vancouver B.C. The Coast Guard cutter Rush, based out of Hawaii, is en route to assist and is expected to arrive on scene in approximately 20 hours.


London, July 25 - A Coast Guard Kodiak press release, dated July 24, states: Vehicle carrier Cougar Ace remains disabled and listing at 90 degrees 230 miles south of the Aleutian Islands. A Coast Guard C-130 aircraft from Air Station Kodiak Alaska deployed several life rafts to

Cougar Ace and returned to Kodiak for fuel. A Coast Guard rescue helicopter from Air Station Kodiak has been deployed to the vessel. The

Alaska Air National Guard have deployed two Pavehawk helicopters accompanied by a C-130, and two HC-130 aircraft with in-flight refuelling capabilities, all carrying parachute deployable rescue teams, from Kulis Air Force Base to assist in the rescue operation.

Bulker Ikan Juara remains on scene. The cause of the vessel damage is unknown at this time.


London, July 25 - A Mitsui O.S.K. Lines press release, dated Tokyo today, states: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL, President: Akimitsu Ashida) reports that the MOL-operated vehicle carrier Cougar Ace was heavily listing south of the Aleutian Islands July 24, as follows: At about 1700, JST, July 24 (JST), MOL received a report from Cougar AceP. Laden with completed cars, which was on the voyage from Japan to the west coast of North America. According to the report, the vessel was listing heavily to port and became not under command. The position was approximately lat 48 14N, long 174 26W. All 23 crewmembers are confirmed safe, and they have put on immersion suits and are waiting at

a safe location onboard for rescue by the US Coast Guard (USCG). Apart from one crewmember who injured a leg, all are in good condition.

According to the USCG, the vessel is stable though listed, and besides a small quantity of sheen, no loss of cargo or other items have been observed. The vessel immediately requested USCG to rescue its crew.

USCG helicopter is on its way to the scene, and is scheduled to arrive afternoon, July 25 (JST) to rescue those seafarers. At 1830, July 24,

MOL formed a task force headed by President Ashida for an emergency response. The cause of the incident is currently under investigation. Of the 23 crew, two are Singaporeans, eight Myanmars, 13 Filipinos.


London, July 25 - A Coast Guard Juneau press release, dated July 24, states: A Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter and crew from Air

Station Kodiak, working with two Air National Guard Pavehawk helicopters with rescue crews from Kulis Air National Guard Base, have sucessfully hoisted the 23 crewmembers of vehicle carrier Cougar Ace to safety. The operation began at 2105 hrs. By 2130 hrs, the first seven crewmembers had been hoisted from the vessel by a Pavehawk helicopter.

At 2143 hrs, the Coast Guard helicopter and crew had hoisted the next eight, departing for Adak at 2151 hrs. After completing a mid-air refuelling from a nearby Air National Guard C-130 tanker, the second

Pavehawk helicopter hoisted the remaining crewmembers at 2209 hrs.

Weather conditions during the operation were overcast skies with 8 knot winds. Aside from one crewmember with a broken leg who will be taken to

Anchorage for medical attention, there were no reported injuries. The remaining crewmembers will be taken to Adak and then transported to

Kodiak, where they will spend the night. Tomorrow they will be taken to a location as yet to be determined.


See the Video of the USCG





Seems to have been caused by an error of crew during ballasting operations near the aleoutian Islands (due to environmental regulations).


Sources :  



Hull :

USD Cargo : Between USD 75 M and USD 100 Millions
Liability : TBA Fees : TBA
Others : TBA    

Sources :

Lloyd's list - Cargo Law



If I have accidentally breached a copyright attaching to any of the photographs on this page, please e-mail me, and I shall remove the photograph immediately






NB : All the Information mentioned in this page are extracted from public and free access web sites or papers, magazines, etc. Our sources are mentioned. If any problem, please contact the webmaster.

Close the window


  Free counter and web stats