German Container Vessel Runs Aground Off Hong Kong’s Coast

Apr 06, 2014 9:51 pm ET

(Updates with company response in second paragraph.)

April 7 (Bloomberg) -- A German container ship ran aground off the coast of Hong Kong yesterday as monsoon winds caused rough seas in one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

The vessel Hansa Constitution ran aground off the Pok Fu Lam residential district on the west side of Hong Kong Island, duty officers at the police’s public relations branch said by phone yesterday. Julia Eble, a spokeswoman with Hansa Treuhand Gruppe, the Hamburg-based owner of the ship, said yesterday the accident may have been caused by a loss of power.

There was no water on the ship and no environmental damage was caused, Eble said, citing information from Peter Mackeprang, chief executive of the group’s shipping arm. The vessel may have run aground due to monsoon wind, the police said.

There were no reports of casualties and no danger of the vessel sinking, according to the police. The extent of damage to the ship, which is about 193 meters (633 feet) long, was unclear, they said.

Hong Kong was the world’s fourth-busiest container port last year, handling 22.3 million twenty-foot equivalent units, according to data released by the Hong Kong Port Development Council in January. The city was surpassed by terminals in the neighboring southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, which was the third-busiest with 23.3 million TEUs, as a strike diverted ships away from the former British colony.

Monsoon Wind

Hong Kong’s weather observatory dispatched a “strong monsoon signal” at 6:45 p.m. yesterday, according to its website. The Marine Department said yesterday that restricted visibility of less than two nautical miles had been reported and warned vessels to exercise “extreme caution,” according to a notice posted on the government’s website.

The German-flagged vessel can carry 34,954 deadweight tons, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It has six cargo holds with a combined capacity of 2,810 TEUs, a standard industry measure for the amount of goods a ship can carry, the data show.

The vessel was en route to a final destination of Chiwan, a container terminal in Shenzhen, according to the data.

--With assistance from Dalia Fahmy in Berlin.