B1/2003M Ro-Ro Vessel CAMILLA (FIN), Incident off Newfoundland in North Atlantic on 23.1.2003
On Wednesday January 23, 2003 the Finnish ro-ro cargo vessel CAMILLA sent a preliminary ECAREG message of possible distress situation. She was drifting without propulsion after an engine break down in the North Atlantic Ocean some 240 miles off Newfoundland in position 46° 54,7’ North and 46° 50,9’ West. In the message it was said that CAMILLA is trying to get assistance to tow her. As there was no help available and the weather conditions were rapidly changing worse the master decided to ask for evacuation to secure the crew. The crew was evacuated by Canadian Rescue helicopter to St. John’s, Newfoundland. The operation was in ultimate limits of the helicopters operational range.
Later the vessel was towed to Conception Bay, Newfoundland by a salvage company. From there she was towed to St. John’s. The vessel was sold to new owners in summer 2003.
The investigation commission concluded that the most probable cause for the engine break down was imperfect lubrication of the main engine. The imperfect lubrication was a result of several occurrences.
The investigators do recommend that Re-activation after lay up should be done following all the guidance and recommendation given by the Class. The investigators do question the usability of the conventional open lifeboats and inflatable life rafts in Ocean areas.