Ship MV Benita Has Sunk While En Route To India

The ship MV Benita, which was under tow en route from Mauritius to India, has sunk approximately 93.5 nautical miles from Mauritius at 1730 LT today at a charted depth of 4,400 meters.

benitaThe vessel turned over by the stern at approximately 1335 local time today after having earlier taken a severe stern trim, necessitating tug Ionian Sea FOS to activate the tow line quick release system in anticipation of Benita’s imminent sinking.

No one was on board the vessel at the time of the incident and all the crew from the tug are safe and accounted for.

No debris or pollution was observed around the vessel and the IONIAN SEA FOS will remain on site to monitor further for signs of any pollution at first light tomorrow.

MV Benita grounded on the 17th June off Mahebourg, Mauritius and was re-floated on 23rd July following extensive repair work by FOS.

1 comment

  • This is an almost exact repeat of the Angel 1 incident five years ago. Angel 1, carrying rice to Ivory Coast, suffered a total power failure and ran aground off Poudre D’Or on 5 August 2011. After three months of work by the same salvage company (Five Oceans Salvage), the ship was pulled off the reef on 25 November, but sank the following day (in exactly the same depth of water, oddly enough!).

    Not so long ago there was the fire aboard container ship Hansa Brandenburg, the abandonment and near sinking of Cemrem in Port Louis harbour, and the abandonment of Markella.

    In the case of Markella, the crew were stuck on board their derelict ship for a year after the owner left them without food, water and power. They would certainly have died if it had not been for the efforts of the Mauritius Ports Authority and the charity Apostolat de la Mer (Apostleship of the Sea, AoS).

    Seafarers work hard in difficult, often dangerous conditions and without them Mauritius would starve – 98% of everything the country needs comes in by sea – but often they are badly treated, poorly paid and just forgotten by the rest of the population on shore. They deserve our thanks, so I urge all readers to support their local seafarers charity, like AoS, Mission to Seafarers, Sailors Society etc.

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