Damaged tanker finally allowed in port

Apr 28 2014

The damaged 44,500 dwt chemical tanker ‘Maritime Maisie’, controlled by Singapore based MSI Ship Management, has finally been given refuge in South Korea, following nearly 100 days at sea, her class society Lloyd's Register (LR) confirmed.

The Hong Kong-flagged tanker was carrying about 30,000 tonnes of chemicals when it was involved in a collision with a Pure Car and Truck Carrier (PCTC) near Busan in December last year, subsequently catching fire.

She has since been held at sea by tugs, as both the Japanese and South Korean governments unwilling to give her refuge, due to her hazardous cargo and the severe damage to the hull, despite the risk of a wider environmental disaster if it broke up and sank, LR said.

Poor weather conditions in January and February and prolonged exposure to swells of up to four metres high have complicated matters further and may also have contributed further damage.

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

Wijendra Peiris, LR’s Ship Emergency Response Service (SERS) team leader, said: “This was quite an unusual situation and multiple teams in LR had to work together to resolve it. ‘Maritime Maisie’ was a Hong Kong flagged, Singapore owned vessel carrying a hazardous cargo. After it was damaged in Korean waters, the vessel drifted into Japanese waters, its fire raging for well over a week. This, together with poor weather conditions, meant we had to make sure our calculations of the ships condition and recommendations to the owners were as accurate as possible.”

“The vessel wasn’t safe enough for LR surveyors to get on board and properly assess the damage until March, but SERS, Lloyd’s Register Class and LR regional operations teams worked closely with MSI Ship Management throughout the period to keep them informed. The decision to allow ‘Maisie’ into the port of Ulsan in Korea was welcome, and MSI thanked LR for their support,” he said.

Iain Wilson, LR’s regional marine manager for Asia, said: “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.”

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