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Jumbo Shipping's Stellamare in normal loading operation
Coast Guard photo of vessel after capsizing

December 10, 2003

Three missing in heavy lift ship loading tragedy

Three crew members were still missing thsi morning after Jumbo Shipping's heavy lift ship Stellamare lay on its side in icy waters in Albany, N.Y.

The 1982-built, 2,368 gt ship was loading the last of two turbines, each weighing about 250 tons, when it rolled to port and became partially submerged in about 30 ft of water at about 3 p.m. Tuesday, according to local media reports. Several of the ship's 18-man crew were thrown into the icy water.

Local reports say four Stellamare crewmen from St. Petersburg, Russia, ranging in age from 28 to 53, were taken by ambulance to St. Peters' Hospital and two patients were taken to Albany Medical Center Hospital for treatment of injuries and hypothermia.

A tugboat, the Rhea I. Bouchard, plucked one man from the icy waters and another from the hull of the ship.

The boat, bound for Italy and Romania, was already holding 600 tons of cargo when it started taking on water, Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings is reported as saying.

The port remained closed to all traffic early this morning a mile north and south. It was believed the three missing crew members might be trapped in the hull and sound-monitoring equipment was in use to try to detect them.

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