Merchant ship cuts minesweeper Kallisto in two
A Greek navy minesweeper, Kallisto, was sliced in two by a merchant ship yesterday morning just outside Piraeus.
The enormous damage, Greek TV reported, is due in part to the construction materials of the warship. It is made of reinforced plastic and fibreglass, which makes it vulnerable to impact.
Kallisto‘s fibreglass hull was built by Vosper Thornycroft in the early 1980s (then called HMS Berkeley) before being moved to Greece between 2000 and 2001.
When built in the 1980s, Kallisto was one of the largest warships ever built with a fibreglass hull. Mine countermeasures ships are typically built with non-metallic hulls, in part to help reduce their vulnerability to magnetic mines. This also reduces their acoustic signature, which, in turn, makes them less likely to trigger acoustic mines.
The exact cause of the accident remains unclear, but local media reports described the freighter “passing over” the mine Greek Navy minehunter as the latter was leaving port.
The captain of the Maersk Launceston has reportedly been arrested, according to The Drive.
Two people on the warship, carrying a total of 27 people, were slightly injured in the collision and were taken to hospital as a precaution according to Greek TV.
The cargo ship Maersk Launceston has been banned from sailing until the damage is repaired.
Ex-RN minehunter (former HMS Berkeley) serving with the 🇬🇷 Greek navy since 2001 as HS Kallisto cut in half during collision with Maersk containership.— NavyLookout (@NavyLookout) October 27, 2020
Accident occurred at 0730 this morning off Piraeus.
2 crew members slightly injured rescued from waterhttps://t.co/gbNsnkahYp pic.twitter.com/VdMsV4tMF3