Ro-ro cargo ship GRANDE AMERICA capsized and sank on Mar 12 at around 1520 LT, in some 180 nm west of French coast. Starboard list was steadily growing, exact cause yet unknown – salvors were trying to dose fire with a lot of water, but yet, hardly enough to capsize the ship. Most probably, water ingress developed, through burned through platings, or damaged valves.
GRIMALDI’s ro-ro cargo ship GRANDE AMERICA reported fire on board at around 1900 UTC Mar 10 in Biscay Bay some 140 nm southwest of Penmarch, Finistere, France, while en route from Germany to Morocco. The ship stopped and started to drift, at around 0100 UTC Mar 11 Master informed MRCC on his decision to abandon the ship, because fire in containers, initially under control, started to spread. All 27 people on board, 26 crew and 1 passenger, went into a lifeboat, and were rescued by Royal Navy frigate HMS Argyll at around 0300 UTC, all safe and sound.
Ship’s AIS missing, as of 1430 UTC Mar 11, during last 18 hours, condition and status of the ship unknown.
Ro-ro cargo ship GRANDE AMERICA, IMO 9130937, GT 56642, built 1997, flag Italy, operator GRIMALDI Group.