Repair work on Polaris VLOC taking longer than planned

Repair work on Polaris VLOC taking longer than planned

When the Polaris Shipping-controlled Stellar Unicorn broke its course and made for Cape Town seeking repairs at the start of the month it was originally slated to leave South African waters on April 13. However, repair work to the cracked hull of the 25-year old converted ore carrier has not gone according to plan.

The ship, built originally at the same yard in Japan as the sunken Stellar Daisy, was then given an April 18 departure date from Cape Town. As of today it remains anchored off the coast of South Africa’s most visited city as the picture above sent exclusively to Splash shows. Moreover, a salvage vessel, Smit Amandla, stands in the foreground just in case of any disaster.

The ore carrier, previously a VLCC, made for South Africa when a sizeable crack was found in its hull less than two days after another Polaris ship, Stellar Daisy, sank in the South Atlantic, with the likely loss of 22 lives.

Efforts to repair the Stellar Unicorn have been thwarted as a result, Splash understands though has yet to confirm, of the coffer dam that was put up to enable the repair work to be done falling off and now lying on the sea bed.

A spokesperson for Polaris has yet to respond to questions submitted by Splash.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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