Greek minesweeper breaks in two following collision with containership in Aegean Sea

HMS Quorn, a Royal Navy Hunt-class minesweeper similar to HS Kallisto (Photo: UK Ministry of Defence)

A collision occurred between a Hellenic Navy vessel and a Portuguese-flagged containership in the Aegean Sea near the Greek port of Piraeus on Tuesday, October 27.

The incident involving the minesweeper HS Kallisto and the containership Maersk Launceton occurred at approximately 07:30 local time.

Eyewitnesses said the containership’s bow struck the minesweeper’s rear quarter with such force that it tore off the latter’s stern.

The containership, meanwhile, suffered only minimal damage from the collision.

As Kallisto took on water and began to list heavily to starboard, two nearby tugs arrived at the scene to render assistance by towing the stricken vessel to shore.

Two of the minesweeper’s 27-strong crew suffered slight injuries from the collision and were later evacuated to a naval hospital in Athens.

A Hellenic Coast Guard official said an investigation has already been launched to identify the events leading up to the incident.

Maersk Launceton had departed Piraeus earlier that morning and was en route to Çanakkale in northwestern Turkey when it struck Kallisto, which was approaching Piraeus after having sailed out of Salamis Island some 10 kilometres away.

Kallisto is the former HMS Berkeley, a Hunt-class minesweeper originally operated by the UK Royal Navy until being handed over to Greece in 2000.

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