January 26th, 2016 (Mike Schuler). A Panamanian-flagged car carrier has been evacuated after a loss of stability incident in the Bay of Biscay.
Spain’s search and rescue agency Salvamento Maritimo responded Tuesday afternoon following a distress call from the roll-on/roll-off pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) Modern Express located 148 miles off Cape Ortegal.
All 22 crew members of the ship were evacuated by two Spanish helicopters. Sixteen crew members have been brought to La Coruña airport in northwestern Spain. Another 6 crew were transferred to Celeiro in Portugal. All are in good condition.
The vessel was listing by about 40 degrees, with winds on scene reported to be Force 8 with heavy seas, according to Salvamento Maritimo.
The search and rescue was being coordinated by the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) in Falmouth in the United Kingdom, with help from National Coordination Centre (Madrid). The vessel has since drifted into French waters.
An update Wednesday from the French Navy said it has dispatched the emergency towing vessel Abeille Bourbon to retrieve the vessel.
According to France’s Maritime Prefect, the Modern Express is loaded with 3,600 tons of wood and construction equipment.
The 10,454 dwt Modern Express was built in 2001 and is 164 meters long. The vessel was sailing from the country of Gabon to Le Havre, France.