In other news, a stone/gravel bulk-carrier capsized near Bergen in Norway yesterday. Of the 30 aboard, 9 were saved from the water, 3 were trapped inside the wreck, and saved by rescuers cutting holes in the bottom of the ship, 3 are found dead, and 15 are missing. They don't expect to find any more survivors.
MS ROCKNES, a 166 metre (540 ft) bulk rock/gravel-carrier, capsized 200 metres off the island Bjorøy, near Bergen on the Norwegian Western coastline. The ship came to rest in a keel-up position, and began drifting.
The vessel was completed in 2001 as a bulk-carrier, and was rebuilt last year with special equipment to enable it to lay rock/gravel on top of underwater piplines, cables, and other submerged installations. She was classed with Germanischer Lloyd. She is owned by Van Oord ACZ of the Netherlands, but is managed by the Norwegian company Jebsen Management. She is flagged in Antigua Barbuda. A short time ago she was subjected to an unannounced harbour-state survey, which found no faults or lacks with the vessel.
More information about the vessel is available here.
She had a crew of 30: 24 seamen from the Philippines, 3 from the Netherlands, 2 from Norway and 1 from Germany. 9 survivors were quickly picked out of the water or off the capsized wreck, and two casualties were also found; these survivors included the Norwegian pilot, five Fillipines, and three Dutch. The ship's master is missing. Rescuers also made contact with crewmembers trapped inside the capsized hull. At 11pm local time, rescuers succeeded in cutting a hole in the bottom of the hull by the machinery-spaces, and three survivors, all Filippine, were recovered; they have now been sent to the decompression-chamber at Håkonsvern Naval Base, as the air in the space where they were was compressed. The ship's master is among the 18 still missing.
I think personally that it is unlikely more survivors will be found. The water is cold, and there apparently was no time for the crew to don thermo-suits. The waters where the ship capsized seem to be fairly confined, and populated, so that survivors would not easily disappear, even at night. To this comes that the portion of the ship where most of the crew would be found - the superstructure - is fully submerged, while of the portions of the hull where airpockets are likely to have formed, only the engine-room would normally have a crew, and the crewmembers there have been rescued.
The capsizing seems to have taken place within 2-3 minutes from the ship lost stability. Some witnesses have said to media that they believe the ship touched submerged rocks shortly before she began listing; one said much of the length of one bilgekeel was missing. A theory offered is that the cargo was displaced as a result of a sudden jolt from hitting the rocks, causing a sufficient initial angle of heel to cause further displacement of the cargo (i.e. free surface effect with gravel). It is expected that a Court of Inquiry will be held in Bergen Tingrett (Assembly Court of Bergen).
An article in English on this shipwreck, published by the English webdesk of Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, can be seen here; it includes links to other articles and a series of photos.