• Jul 27th 2006 at 10:02AM
  • 75
The Singapore-flagged cargo vessel Cougar Ace has tipped over off the coast of Alaska. All 23 crewmembers have been rescued. The same cannot be said, however, for the 4,700 Mazdas aboard the ill-fated 654-foot ship.

Cougar AceAccording to Mazda, 60% of the cars aboard are Mazda3s, and 30% are CX-7 SUVs. The Associated Press reports that the Cougar Ace tipped after her ballast was adjusted in the open sea. The resulting imbalance sent her over into the 60-degree list she is currently experiencing. As seen in the US Coast Guard photo above, her keel, rudder, and propeller are all out of the water.

The Coast Guard reports that aside from the list, the ship is stable and not sinking. Mitsui O.S.K., the Cougar Ace's owners, has initiated a salvage operation and the company they're working with is expected onsite in approximately one week.

Mazda does not know the extent of the damage to its vehicles and will refrain from further comment until it has more solid information, but based on photos of the ship, it looks like it's safe to assume that the conditions in the hold are, at best, a gigantic mess.

(Mazda press release after the jump)

[Sources: Mazda, AP via CTV, Alaska Report)


PRESS RELEASE:

Mazda Vehicles Aboard
Stricken Car-Carrying Vessel, Cougar Ace

On July 24, 2006, Mazda was advised that the Mitsui OSK Lines' Cougar Ace had run into trouble off the Alaskan coast. Although it is reportedly still afloat, the vessel is on its side,

What caused this incident or the extent of the damage to the vehicles is currently unknown. Just over 4,700 Canadian- and U.S-bound Mazdas were on board. Approximately 60 percent of the cars are MAZDA3s and close to 30 percent are Mazda CX-7s. The vehicles were headed to the ports of Vancouver (Canada), Tacoma and Hueneme in the USA.

A plan for salvaging the vessel is being developed and will be executed by Mitsui OSK Lines as soon as possible.

Mazda will wait until the situation has been fully evaluated and understood, before disclosing further information.


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  • 75 Comments
      • 9 Years Ago
      In 1988 happened exactly the same thing with a similar ship called REIJIN without mazda´s but with japanese cars onboard 5.400 cars toyota.
      • 9 Years Ago
      these car carrying ships are tall with high center of gravity to carry the most vehicles possible. The same with the new cruiz vessels.
      High center of gravity compromises the safety of a vessel.
      Greed drives these vessels to their safety limits and in this case although it was a human error it is a failed statistic.
      I hope that the insurance companies and the Coast guards put a limit in the hight of these vessels.
      • 9 Years Ago
      They should construct a giant bridge from the pacific rim to west side USA. Then they can just zoom zoom them over.
      • 9 Years Ago
      NEWS FLASH:

      MAZDA HAS CHANGED ITS SLOGAN FROM:

      ZOOM ZOOM

      TO:

      SPLISH SPLASH
      • 9 Years Ago
      I'm following all this with some real interest as the Cougar Ace has transported a number of used vehicles for me from Japan to Adelaide - happily they have always arrived undamaged.
      Regarding the crew. . they were all Burmese, including the Captain.
      One thing that was characteristic of this ship is that my vehicles have all arrived without tools, including jacks and one minus its stereo. My cars always ended up lighter after a cruise on the Cougar Ace

      My cars have been thoroughly searched, with trim panels removed etc. It's bad and very blatant. One the more ravished ones had a copy of the ships loading schedule under a seat where it had been accidentally buried after a frenzy of interior dismantling.
      I now pay my supplier to remove the stereo and do his best to hide it deep within the vehicle.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Mazda 3's? NOOOOOOOOOOOO!
      • 9 Years Ago
      Look for a Mazda "scratch and dent" sale.
      • 9 Years Ago
      This just in...

      General Motors has contracted with shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. to move all its unsold inventory from dealer lots in the U.S. to a yet to be named location near Alaska.
      "We hope this inventory relocation program tops even our employee pricing blitz to help improve our bottom line and make stockholders happy," said an anonymous GM employee whose name rhymes with Bagonner.
      Ford executives are said to be looking at their own inventory relocation program to compete with The General, possibly outfitting their low-selling SUVS with impossibly small sails and leaky pontoons and setting them free on the open sea.
      • 9 Years Ago
      The cars stowed fore and aft have four 500 Kilogram nylon lashings each. The ones stowed thwartships or crossways have six lashings. If they were properly checked and tightened the cars should stay in place even if the ship is upside down. I don't understand how they could have gotten that light on ballast without someone realizing it. You can tell by the rolling period and by the way the ship feels when it is getting too tender. It seems like it must have been a very poorly trained crew at a time when there is so much blah blah blah about safety and quality and environment that it is becoming obvious that the steamship companies talk a good line at the same time that they want to make everything as cheap as they can. I have a feeling they got exactly what they paid for which is a third world crew for absolutely nothing that had simply purchased all of their required endorsements and certificates. They probably had a bunch of farmers with all the licenses and certificates who had never seen the water.
      Jim
      • 9 Years Ago
      My local Mazda dealership is overloaded with Mazda3s, which makes me wonder why they would need anymore.
      Convenient accident perhaps?
      • 9 Years Ago
      THATS
      WHAT
      HAPPEN
      WHEN U
      DONT BUILD
      EM
      HERE!

      LOL
      11. NEWS FLASH:

      MAZDA HAS CHANGED ITS SLOGAN FROM:

      ZOOM ZOOM

      TO:

      SPLISH SPLASH
      • 9 Years Ago
      I can't take credit for the following, because I read it elsewhere:

      What caused the ship to capsize?
      The captain was going Zoom Zoom Zoom
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