British class society Lloyd’s Register has been drafted in to assist in Polaris Shipping’s urgent fleet check in the wake of the Stellar Daisy sinking.
With Polaris’s main class society, Korean Register (KR), taking much flak at home for its links to the Stellar Daisy, its cracked sister ship, Stellar Unicorn, and the Sewol ferry which has just been salvaged, Polaris has moved to bring in outside help.
Polaris has detailed its “systematic fleet structural survey program” on its website whereby KR has drafted structural inspection guidelines for all of Polaris’s 31-strong fleet, which the managers and the crew have implemented onboard while at sea. All findings are reported to class.
For those vessels which pass the initial onboard inspection, as each vessel arrives at its earliest load or discharge port, it is being subjected to special survey by a team consisting of three dedicated senior superintendents from Polaris Shipping, three Korean Register classification surveyors and two engineers from Tae-Yang, a specialist steel strength gauging company.
In addition, Polaris Shipping has engaged the services of LR who have committed three technical advisers to inspect each vessel in turn and advise on structural strength and design issues.
These initial condition surveys at the load and discharge ports will be followed by further in depth survey and analysis of each vessel, the results of which will be reported to class for verification of hull strength in consultation with LR.
Any non-conformities, if discovered, will be rectified according to a hull strengthening plan approved by KR in consultation with LR.
KR has told Splash that rule changes could happen in the wake of the sudden sinking of the Stellar Daisy, a 24-year old converted VLOC that went down in the South Atlantic on March 31 with the likely loss of 22 lives.