MS Berge Istra

From SpottingWorld, the Hub for the SpottingWorld network...

The MS Berge Istra was a ship owned by Norwegian shipping company Sig. Bergesen d.y. and registered in Liberia, an ore-bulk-oil carrier with 227,550 metric tons deadweight (DWT). The ship had build number 296 at the Uljanik shipyard in the port city Pula in Croatia where it was built in 1972.

The ship was on route from Tubarão in Brazil to Japan with iron ore when contact was lost with the vessel in the Pacific (near the island Mindanao, Philippines) on December 30, 1975. After one week, on January 7, 1976, the ship was reported missing, but the ensuing search operation yielded no results and was called off on January 10 of that year. 30 people lost their lives. There were two survivors, Spanish citizens Imeldo Barreto Leon (41) and Epifanio Lopez (39), who were picked up from a raft on January 20, 1976 by Japanese fishermen.

To this day, 30 years later, the shipping company maintains secrecy with regards to the cause of the accident. The most prominent theory holds that the cause could have been explosions caused by oil residue in the cargo compartments that were filled with iron ore. MS Berge Istra was, like its sister ship MS Berge Vanga which disappeared under similar circumstances four years later, a ship which could transport both oil and iron ore. After these two disappearances no more combination ships like this were built, and oil was never again transported alongside ore.


hr:MS Berge Vanga no:MS «Berge Istra»