Go Back Report # 222



Tanker Is Ripped Open by Sunken Object—Slick Covers East River


       The 603-foot tanker Alkaid struck an unidentified submerged object in the East River early yesterday and had to be beached near the United Nations to prevent her sinking.

       The Panamanian tanker was carrying 22,557 tons of heavy fuel oil from the Persian Gulf. The crash ruptured sixteen of her twenty-seven cargo tanks and oil poured into the river. At one time the slick covered the 2,700-foot-wide river from bank to bank.

       Although there was believed to be no danger of fire on the river, the Fire Department posted "no smoking" signs along the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive. The outside northbound lane of the highway was also roped off for several blocks to permit fire and police vehicles to get near the beached ship.

       Two Moran tugs accompanying the ship beached the tanker at the request of her master, Capt. Karl Heinz Stange, shortly before 3 A.M., about fifteen minutes after the crash. Eleven hours later a rising tide started to float the Alkaid, and she was towed back into deep water. But last night she was aground again further downstream.

       Captain Stange said the accident had occurred at 2:33 A.M. between the Williamsburg Bridge and Forty-fourth Street, where the listing ship was beached. She had been bound upriver.

       Captain Stange, who was on the bridge with Clyde Valley, the docking pilot, said a heavy shudder had gone through the vessel as she passed over the object. She started to list to starboard immediately.

       Emergency measures, such as flooding the ballast tanks and shifting the cargo from one tank to another to offset the list, did not help, he said. The ship continued to list at an angle of more than 20 degrees with her starboard rail, the one toward Queens, underwater.          

Kept on Ledge

       During the Alkaid's eleven-hour perch off East Forty-fourth Street after beaching, two tugs, the Eugene F. Moran and the Diana L. Moran, had to keep pushing her inshore to hold her on the ledge.

       Shortly before 2 P.M., on a rising tide, the listing Alkaid was started on a slow and precarious voyage down river under the control of five Moran tugs. Merritt-Chapman & Scott, marine salvagers who had been engaged by the tanker's owners, had ordered the move.

       The objective was anchorage in Bay Ridge Flats in the Upper Bay. However, the tanker, which has a thirty-foot draft upright and fully loaded, ran aground again just before full high water. She went on shortly before 5 P.M. under the Williamsburg Bridge. Moran officials said there was no chance of moving her until early morning.

       It had been planned to lighten the Alkaid when she reached Bay Ridge Flats. Part of her cargo was to have been pumped into barges, and she was to have been righted through air blown into her flooded cargo tanks. She would have been patched, if necessary, before being moved to a shipyard early next week for dry docking and repairs.

       The Alkaid, a motor ship, was built in the Netherlands in 1953. She had sailed from Mina Abdullah, Kuwait, on June 15. Her destination was the Metropolitan Petroleum Corporation terminal at 138th Street and the East River in the Bronx.

She carries an all-German crew of thirty-seven. Her owner is the Alvion Steamship Corporation of Panama.

       An investigation of the ac­cident will be started Monday by the Coast Guard at the Customs House.                                                                                                                                    

This is the original reference: The N.Y. Times, dated 07-16-1960, p. 41, col. 1           

UFOCAT PRN - 76777

UFOCAT URN – NONE    The N.Y. Times, dated 07-16-1960, p. 41, col. 1

UFOCAT URN – NONE    Fate, November 1960, pp. 11-12

UFOCAT URN – 076777 Invisible Residents by Ivan T. Sanderson, p. 226, © 1970

UFOCAT URN – 150547 A Geo-Bibliography of Anomalies by George Eberhart, #0864, © 1980

UFOCAT URN – 141795 A Geo-Bibliography of Anomalies by George Eberhart, #0864, © 1980

North America – United States, New York

New York City  Latitude 40-25-51 N, Longitude 74-00-23 W (D-M-S)

East River        Latitude 40-47-13 N, Longitude 73-55-05 W

Reference: The National Gazetteer of the United States of America, prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, Washington, D.C., 1990   

UFO Location (UFOCAT) Latitude 40.77 N, Longitude 73.98 W (D.%) 


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