Crew Rescued from Listing Cargo Ship Off South Africa

A severely listing bulk carrier
Updated Published

On July 8, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) reported the successful rescue of crew members from a lifeboat after they evacuated their severely listing cargo vessel in the Atlantic Ocean. The incident took place about 60 nautical miles west of Doring Bay, on South Africa's west coast.

At 3:00 AM local time on Monday, the vessel Ultra Galaxy triggered an alert from its Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB). SAMSA quickly responded to the distress signal and initiated a rescue operation.

SAMSA collaborated with the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Cape Town, diverting two nearby cargo ships and coordinating other vessels in the area to assist with the rescue.

The containership Rio Grande Express, the bulk carrier Fivos, and the fishing boat Malachite altered their courses to provide assistance. Upon reaching the location, the rescue vessels discovered 18 crew members of the Ultra Galaxy in a life raft.

SAMSA reported that all the crewmembers, who are from the Philippines, were safe and had boarded the fishing vessel Malachite. They were en route to St. Helena Bay on the west coast of South Africa. Following the rescue, SAMSA dispatched two tugboats to tow the stricken vessel.

The Ultra Galaxy, previously known as Thor Galaxy and Thorco Galaxy, is a general cargo ship registered under Panama's flag. According to Marine Traffic data, the vessel had departed from Malaga, Spain, on June 13 and was scheduled to arrive in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on July 22.