The NYK chartered wood chip carrier MV Crimson Polaris that broke up Thursday morning off the coast of Hachinohe, Japan is leaking oil.
NYK said the vessel split in two at 4:15 a.m. local time on Thursday, August 12, and oil from the vessel has spilled into the water. “The amount is currently under investigation,” the company said.
The wreck of the Crimson Polaris is located about 4 km offshore Hachinohe Port, on the northeast coast of Japan’s Honshu island, where it ran into trouble Wednesday morning during heavy weather.
“Crimson Polaris… was swept away by a strong wind while anchored and resultantly ran aground off Hachinohe in Aomori prefecture at around 7:35 am (JST) on August 11,” NYK said in an earlier update.
A photo released by the Japanese Coast Guard shows a large oil slick coming from he vessel.
All crew members were rescued from the vessel prior to it splitting up and are reported in good condition.
NYK is currently chartering the 2008-built, Panama-flagged dedicated wood chip carrier from owner MI-DAS Line S.A. The ship manager is reported to be Misuga Kaiun Co. Ltd.
On-site response is being carried out by the Japanese Coast Guard.
“NYK has organized a crisis management center led by NYK president Hitoshi Nagasawa to rapidly address the situation. The company is cooperating with related parties based on advice from the Japan Coast Guard. Company personnel have been sent to the site, and necessary support will be provided to the shipowner and ship-management company. We hope the situation will be bought to a safe and timely conclusion,” NYK’s update said.
An update from the company early Friday morning (Japan Standard Time) said the ship was carrying 1,550 metric tons of heavy fuel oil and about 130 metric of diesel oil. At this time, it is not known how much oil has spilled into the water.
The crack initially occurred between the No. 5 cargo hold and the No. 6 cargo hold. The bow is floating and held by an anchor, and the stern appears to have become stranded on the seabed, NYK said.
“The shipowner and ship-management company are currently in discussions with relevant authorities and salvage companies concerning towing and treatment of the separated hull, with the prevention of environmental pollution being given the highest priority. We are carefully monitoring the situation,” the company said.
The cause of the accident is under investigation and authorities are conducting an interview with the ship’s captain.
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