A livestock carrier loaded with 16,000 sheep has sunk at her moorings in Sudan’s Suakin port on the Red Sea. Initial investigations suggest that the ship, bound for Saudi Arabia, was overloaded. Losses are estimated at 15 million Saudi Riyals ($4 mln). No loss of human life was reported, but most of the sheep were reportedly drowned.
According to reports from Suakin, the ship, Al Badri 1*, which sails under a Tanzanian flag and is owned by an Emirati national, ran aground as it was about to leave Berth 7 of the Osman Digna Port earlier today, and sank. The official of the Ports Insurance Plan, Mohamed Abdelhafiz, said that after the Saudi-bound vessel was cleared to sail and head out to sea, it began to list 30 degrees to starboard (right). “By the time we arrived at the berth, the list had increased to 45 degrees.” Abdelhafiz said that all attempts to save the ship failed, and it sank at the pier. The crew were all rescued.
The Director of the Maritime Control Department at the Sea Ports Authority, Islam Babiker Abu Derq, also suggested that the causes of the sinking were due to excessive loads, or misdistribution of the load inside the ship.
Khaled El Maqbool, Head of the Meat Exporters Division and Vice-President of the National Chamber of Exporters confirmed that Al Badri 1 was loaded with 16,000 sheep, and was bound for Saudi Arabia. He stressed the importance of setting controls and requirements that meet the required standards specific to weight, size, required special stalls, quality, ventilation, and stalls used for livestock transportation.
He told the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) that the ship had malfunctions that had previously been repaired in the Suez Canal, pointing to the need to establish controls for the movement of ships to transport livestock in the absence of the national carrier. He stressed the importance of chartering hips with the necessary safety specifications and standards.
He also pointed out that the person supervising the shipment of livestock must have sufficient experience with the controls in distributing livestock on the ship to avoid it shifting. He indicated that an urgent meeting will be held today in the Exporters’ Chamber to come up with a vision that is in the interest of the public and private sectors.
In a statement via the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) in May, the ministry said that, revenues from livestock and fisheries exports amounted to $83,752,814 dollars during the period from January to April 2022. This included 473,287 head of live animals, 5,406 tons of meat, 398,199 leather hides, in addition to the export of 7,511 tons of fresh fish, during this period.
The export of livestock from Sudan to Saudi Arabia via Port Sudan resumed in April, after a review of the protocol in the field of health requirements. The export of livestock and meat represent an important source of hard currency for Sudan’s state treasury.
Last year, the Sudanese economy suffered large losses due to the continued closure of ports, roads, and infrastructure in the east of the country, estimated at $83 million within one month.