Dutch inland skippers poisoned by cargo from bulk carrier

Bulk carrier SMARTA arrived at Amsterdam from Yuzhniy Port, Ukraine, with cargo of sunflower animal feed on Nov 27, cargo was loaded into 17 Dutch inland cargo ships. Skipper and his wife on one of these ships, FOX (MMSI 244013189), required medical assistance on Dec 4, with symptoms of toxic poisoning, The ship was immediately taken to berth at Lek in Nieuwegein, Utrecht. Both were hospitalized, skipper taken to intensive care ward. All other vessels are alerted on a possibility of poisoning through inhalation, all cargo operations prohibited until proper survey and cargo treatment. As it was found out, the couple running the ship was intoxicated by phosphine fumes. Phosphine is a gas used in shipping for fumigation purposes. SMARTA was released on Dec 4, as of Dec 7 she was under way in Baltic sea, bound for Riga Latvia. Investigation still ongoing.
Bulk carrier SMARTA, IMO 9396567, dwt 15968, built 2007, flag Liberia, manager INTRESCO GMBH, Vienna, Austria.

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Erofey is a Merchant Marine Captain with more than 20 years experience in commanding oil tankers. He works as a Captain, being most of his time at sea. He contributes maritime news.