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The container ship Shiling, which had lost power and steering off New Zealand last week, will be towed to Wellington, according to the latest updates from Maritime New Zealand (Maritime NZ).
The 5,028 TEU capacity vessel is currently safely anchored at Tasman Bay, with the ocean-going tug Skandi Emerald on site to provide assistance.
Although the exact timing for the vessel’s move is yet to be confirmed, Friday has been identified as the potential weather window.
The Singapore-registered MV Shiling, with 24 crew members onboard, ran into trouble on May 12, 2023, while located approximately 22 nautical miles North North-West of Farewell Spit. The vessel reportedly lost power and steering in heavy seas, nearly forcing the crew to abandon ship before weather improved and the situation stabilized.
The breakdown of the MV Shiling follows an earlier power loss on April 15, which forced the ship back to Wellington for repairs. The ship had just been cleared to sail to Singapore when the latest incident occurred.
The ocean going tug Skandi Emerald arrived on scene and took the vessel under tow to Tasman Bay, where it was safely anchored overnight Saturday.
While the decisions regarding the passage, anchoring locations, and towage are primarily managed by the owners of the Shiling, Maritime NZ is providing oversight to ensure the process is carried out safely. The agency announced an agreement Sunday for the Shiling to be towed to Wellington.
Maritime NZ’s Incident Controller Kenny Crawford says the Maritime Incident Response Team is actively monitoring the situation.
“While the decisions around passage, anchoring locations and towage are managed by the owners of the Shiling, Maritime NZ has oversight, and is liaising with CentrePort and the Wellington Harbour Master to ensure the process is managed safely,” he says. “The Skandi Emerald is a very capable towage vessel, and its crew are highly experienced in traversing conditions such as what could be experienced in the Cook Strait.”
The payment for the towing operation is being managed by the owners of the Shiling and their insurers.
AIS data from MarineTraffic.com shows the 294-meter-long Shiling departed Wellington on May 10 bound for Singapore.
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