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WATCH: Rare storm beaches cargo ship near Israeli port

PortandTerminal.com, December 26, 2019

Caught in a rare winter storm that has been battering Israel, a cargo ship has drifted onto a beach near the Port of Ashod

ASHDOD, ISRAEL — Reuters is reporting that a massive cargo ship named the Zelek Star has drifted onto a beach in southern Israel on Thursday.

Heavy winds and stormy weather forced the vessel away from its anchor point near the port of Ashdod. Israel has been battered by a rare winter storm called a Medicane.

The term “Medicane”, according to AccuWeather, is a combination of the two words “Mediterranean” and “hurricane.”

Maritime map showing the position of a ship called the Zelek Star relative to the Israeli Port of Ashod

The 295 foot-long Zelek Star was carrying cement and other goods from Greece to Israel when it was swept away and approached Oranim Beach, officials said. The beach’s sandy Mediterranean shoreline is popular with residents and tourists.

Photos showed locals walking along the beach with the 14 meter-high vessel towering over them in the background, abutting a stone seawall as shallow waves crashed onto its red exterior.

A red cargo ship is beached near a breakwater in heavy seas.
Following the stormy weather: a ship was swept away in Ashdod
(Photo: Ashdod Municipality)

Captain Yigal Maor, manager of Israel’s Shipping and Ports Authority, said there were 12 crew onboard the vessel but that it was the responsibility of the ship’s owners to ensure their safety.

The ship carries a Panamanian flag and is owned by Turkey-based Fuden Shipping & Trading, according to the website maritime-connector.com. The company could not be reached for comment.

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