On Tuesday 27th October, 2020 @ 0740 UTC the containership MAERSK LAUNCESTON collided with Hellenic Navy HS KALLISTO M 63 with the result of splitting her in two while leaving Piraeus, Greece at Saronic Gulf bound to Turkey.
The collision incident left 2 naval crew slightly injured and later hospitalised to Athens Naval Hospital and prompting the evacuation of the severely damaged military vessel. Hellenic Coast Guard stated that a rescue operation was launched with three coast guard patrol boats, a coast guard special forces unit, a navy ship and helicopter and four tug boats. All 27 navy crew members were rescued from the minesweeper, which sustained damage and was taking on water. HS KALLISTO M 63 listing to one side and with severe damage to her stern, much of which appeared to be missing, was towed to a naval base on the nearby island of Salamina.
HS KALLISTO M 63 is one of two Hunt Class minehunters in service with the Hellenic Navy. She was originally built for the Royal Navy as HMS BERKELEY M 40 and was launched in 1986 before seeing service during mine-clearance operations in the 1991 Gulf War.
Above images while entering Grand Harbour, Malta on 21st May, 2009 part of NATO Squadron.
Together with her sister ship HS EVROPI M 62 formerly HMS BICESTER M 36 S she was transferred in 2001 when on 6th February she was taken over in Portsmouth, UK. On 28th February 2001 she was renamed HS KALLISTO remained at the Portsmouth Naval Station until 30th March, 2001 and in April 2001 she arrived at Greece stopping at Malaga, Spain and Messina, Sicily. Since then she belongs to the Mine Action Administration (DNAR).
Above images of HS EVROPI M 62 while leaving Grand Harbour, Malta on 16th May, 2006
It was not immediately clear why HS KALLISTO M 63 and the containership MAERSK LAUNCESTON which had been heading to Turkey with 22 crew on board, collided. The container ship’s managers, J.T. Essberger, said the ship’s crew participated in the rescue operation. In a statement, the company said there were no injuries on board the cargo ship, and an initial assessment did not indicate any damage.
MAERSK LAUNCESTON was built in 2005 by Odense Steel Shipyard at Odense in Denmark as DAL KALAHARI trading until May 2014 as a 4,533 TEU vessel.
Greek authorities have detained the ship from sailing.
Watermarked Photos are by Capt. Lawrence Dalli. Do not use these images without my permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos – www.maltashipphotos.com
Published – Wednesday 28th October ,2020