Livestock Carrier Capsizes and Sinks, Killing 15,000 Sheep

Livestock Carrier Capsizes and Sinks, Killing 15,000 Sheep

June 12, 2022

A ship transporting about 16,000 sheep collapsed and sunk on Sunday at its dock in a Sudanese port. All of the crew members made it out alive, but nearly all of the cargo was lost. In the early hours of Sunday morning, the vessel Al Badri 1 (misreported as the Badr 1) began sinking at the pier in Suakin, Sudan.

Officials informed The Guardian that the ship sank slowly, giving the crew adequate time to leave. Only 700 sheep managed to flee and survive. Because of the possibility of a fuel oil spill and the effluent from the decay of thousands of sheep, the loss of the Al Badri 1 might have an impact on port operations as well as the environment.

The ship is currently underwater near its berth, preventing the pier from being used until the wreck is cleaned.

The Al Badri 1 (also known as Henry Stahl, Ester 1, Ytong 1, Malak 1) was a stern-ramp ro/ro freighter constructed in 1973 that was later converted into a livestock carrier.

She had a recent history of port state control violations, as well as a 10-year period between 2008 and 2018 with no PSC inspections. Four more decks were welded above the ship's main deck level to offer more space for cattle, according to images taken before and after the Al Badri 1's renovation.

Livestock carriers are usually older than commerce ships across the world, with an average fleet age of more than 40 years. Almost all of them are conversions from ro/ro ships. According to a 2021 research by Animal Welfare Foundation, Tierschutzbund Zürich, and Robin des Bois, the ships chosen for conversion have often arrived at the standard age for demolition (about 30) when they begin their new life.

In November 2019, a similar occurrence occurred onboard the cattle ship Queen Hind. Under rare circumstances, the vessel crashed off the coast of Romania, drowning nearly all of the 15,000 sheep on board.

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