Australian Government Steps In to Remove M/V Tycoon Wreckage from Christmas Island

The M/V Tycoon as seen on January 10th. Photo: AMSA

After more than three months against the rocks on Christmas Island, the Australian Government says it is stepping in to remove the wreckage of the M/V Tycoon after its owner has failed to make any progress in the salvage operation. The registered owner of the vessel is Tycoon Navigation SA, based in Singapore.

The vessel broke free of its moorings just outside the Port of Christmas Island on January 8th and crashed into the cliffs in Flying Fish Cove, spilling oil and phosphate very close to shore.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority says that although the removal of wreckage is normally the responsibility of the vessel owner, Tycoon Navigation has not taken any practical action to commence a salvage or wreck removal operation. Instead, the wreck removal will be undertaken by a contractor, identified as Titan Maritime (Australia) Pty. Ltd., to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and managed through a cooperative agreement between AMSA and the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport.

The Australian Government says it has already approved funding for the removal of the wreck and remediation work at the site but will take action to recover the costs from the owner.

The MV Tycoon is a Panamanian-flagged, 85 meter general cargo ship that was reported to have approximately 102 tonnes of intermediate fuel oil, 11,000 liters of lubricant oil, 32 tonnes of diesel oil and approximately 260 tonnes of phosphate onboard when she grounded.

The wreck removal operation is expected to take several months.