18 rescued after cargo ship lists heavily off Cape Town, South Africa

Ultra Galaxy South African Maritime Safety Authority
The general cargo ship Ultra Galaxy listing heavily off the coast of South Africa as seen from a responding rescue vessel, July 8, 2024South African Maritime Safety Authority

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) reports that a commercial cargo ship developed a heavy list in the Atlantic Ocean, resulting in its being abandoned by its crew, on Monday, July 8. The Panama-registered general cargo vessel Ultra Galaxy was underway off Cape Town with a final destination of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania when it began tilting to starboard at around 03:00 local time on Monday.

The crew then sent out a distress call before they abandoned ship. A number of Good Samaritan fishing vessels and cargo ships quickly diverted to the area in response.

All 18 of Ultra Galaxy's crew, identified as Filipino nationals, were picked up from a drifting liferaft and brought aboard one of the responding fishing vessels. The survivors have since been brought to the town of St Helena Bay in Western Cape province.

SAMSA said that efforts are now focused on the possible salvage of the ship, which remains afloat. According to the agency's most recent update, an emergency towing effort is being organised to bring the drifting vessel safely to port.

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Baird Maritime / Work Boat World