South Korea Finally Gives Refuge to Fire-Scorched Tanker

Damage to the Maritime Maisie, via LR
Damage to the Maritime Maisie, via LR

At the end of 2013, the Hong Kong-flagged chemical tanker Maritime Maisie was t-boned by the car carrier Gravity Highway which was on sea trials from Hyundai Mipo Dockyard resulting in the ignition of the ship’s cargo of 30,000 tons of the highly flammable chemical acrylonitrile.

As the resultant fire on board raged for over a week, the ship’s structure was weakened bringing into question the structural integrity of the vessel and ultimately what to do with it.

The ship had drifted into Japanese waters as well, yet neither Japan or Korea was willing to give the ship refuge due to the hazardous nature of its cargo and the risk of it sinking in their coastal waters.

Lloyd’s Register, an advisor to the ship manager MSI Ship Management Pte, notes this week that improved weather and sea conditions last month allowed LR surveyors to board the vessel and assess the damage.  Following this investigation, the Port of Ulsan, South Korea subsequently granted entry authorization to the Maritime Maisie, effectively ending the seemingly never-ending saga of what to do with this vessel.

Arun Ahluwalia, Fleet Director at MSI International commented, “We take this opportunity to thank Class LR – Singapore, UK, Yokohama, Busan and SERS teams for all the support provided during this long period.”

Lloyds Register notes that their involvement in the story of Maritime Maisie is not over however.   

With the vessel now in port, LR notes they will be involved in overseeing the safe unloading of the cargo, cleaning of the ship and a full assessment of the vessel to see if she can be salvaged. Further assistance for the safe movement to a repair or recycling facility will also be required.

Iain Wilson, LR’s Regional Marine Manager for Asia, commented: “This is an excellent example of marine employees across multiple countries and teams pulling together and offering fantastic levels of support to a key client. Individuals from SERS, Class and surveyors in Korea, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong all played a part in helping this vessel get safely to port and should be proud of that achievement.”