On Wednesday 8th April, 2020 morning the Italian Coast Guard (Guardia Costiera) received a mayday distress call from the Russian flag general cargo ship BELLATRIX with fire on board.
BELLATRIX was more than 180 miles southeast of Catania, when she launched the distress call for a fire which was out of control in the engine room, at the aft of the vessel with 12 crew members seeking immediate assistance.
The Reggio Calabria Coast Guard took charge of the rescue coordination, ordering the departure of a 300 class SAR Boat while the Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Rome alerted all ships in transit in the area.
CP 300 Class- CP 324 at Unita Navale Palermo back to 2nd October 2014.
A Guardia Costiera P 180 Avanti from 2° Nucleo Aereo Catania della and ATR aircraft from 3° Nucleo Aereo Pescara were deployed to the area.
The 101 metre general cargo vessel ARIFE that was underway on passage to Casablanca, Morocco from Golcuk, Turkey answered the Mayday and rescued the stricken crew. According to the Guardia Costiera a tug will tow the vessel BELLATRIX that was hired by the shipowner bound to the Turkish port Aliaga. Vessel was in ballast condition and there are currently no visible forms of pollution in the area concerned.The cause of the fire is yet to be determined and no injuries have been reported.
She was built by Slovenske Lodenice at Komarno in Slovakia as VOLGO BALT 215 in 1978 until October 2009 from where she was renamed to her current name BELLATRIX.
In the SAR zone there was also Italian Coast Guard OPV – UBALDO DICIOTTI CP 941 with Italian Navy FREMM Frigate ITS ALPINO F 594 and an ATR 72.
CP 941 UBALDO DICIOTTI at Catania back to 23rd February, 2020.
Photos by Capt. Lawrence Dalli. Do not use these images without my permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos – www.maltashipphotos.com
Published – Monday 13th April, 2020