The 70 meter long ‘Seikongen’ sank Wednesday morning.
The wellboat, owned by Empresas Maritimas of Chile, but under contract with Camanchaca, went down at 11:00 local time.
” ‘Seikongen’ sent a distress call at 10:50, after leaving Puerto Montt”, Miguel Angel Bravo, harbourmaster of Puerto Montt, told the Chilean website Efeverde.com.
The Chilean salmon capital, Puerto Montt, is the wellboat’s home.
It all happened at the Chonchi village, just south of Castro on Isla Chiloé in southern Chile. This is in the midst of the most farming intensive area in the country, Region X. About 80 percent of Chile’s salmon is produced here.
The wellboat is brand new, built by a shipyard in China in 2017. She had only been in operation for one month before sinking, SalmonBusiness understands.
Video from the Chilean Navy shows the dramatic accident (the story continues after the video)
The skipper intentionally steered her to a shallow area in order to avoid a total loss of the vessel, according to Fleetmon.com.
Ten meters deep
The wellboat with the Norwegian name, ‘Seikongen’, went down bow-first, listing towards starboard. The boat is now ten meters deep – visible from the surface.
The crew of 11 is safe. There are 200 tonnes of salmon and about 70 tonnes of fuel on board.
The Chilean Navy used four boats and 40 crew members during the rescue operation, RadioChile reported.
The reason for the accident is still unknown. It was quiet weather and a calm sea when it occurred.