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Sea Express I - A Day to Remember

Photographs  David Fairclough, John H. Luxton & Ian Collard 2007

On the morning of Saturday February 03, 2007, in dense fog, SEA EXPRESS was  in collision with the bulk carrier ALASKA RAINBOW.

The Greek flagged ALASKA RAINBOW (13,898 grt - 1985)is operated by Goumas Shipping of Greece. It is understood that this vessel had apparently been on approach for Alfred Lock, Birkenhead but had aborted this manoeuvre. Shortly afterwards the collision occurred. It appears that SEI was struck at the stern and was then swept around bringing her starboard bridge wing into contact with the ALASKA RAINBOW.

Following the collision ALASKA RAINBOW proceeded to the Liverpool Bar Anchorage pending inspection from a MCA Surveyor.

SEA EXPRESS I was brought port side on, alongside Prince's Landing Stage by tugs. Passengers being quickly discharged at the section of the stage currently being used by the Mersey Ferries.

She was then turned and put on to her berth stern on - however due to her being significantly down by the stern it was not possible to discharge vehicles which remained on board.

By mid afternoon Svitzer tugs OAKGARTH and SVITZER BIDSTON plus ADSTEAM WATERLOO were in attendance at the stage. There was a full emergency response with several fire tenders present, counter pollution and salvage experts in attendance.

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When SEI was first brought alongside at the stage she was berthed port side on with passengers being evacuated via the Mersey Ferries gangway.

With the passengers disembarked she was turned in the river and brought stern on to the berth. (photos David Fairclough.

The photos below show the situation during the late afternoon with the ship appearing to have settled further by the stern.
By evening the situation had been stabilised with only the tug OAKGARTH remaining in attendance.



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