The hunt for the Stellar Daisy has been plunged into chaos with another converted VLOC that had been leading the search and rescue mission in the South Atlantic – also belonging to the same beleaguered Korean owner – forced to head to Cape Town for repairs.
Polaris, the world’s largest VLOC owner with earlier ambitions of listing in Seoul within the next three months, has suffered a triple whammy in less than two weeks with the sinking of the Stellar Daisy and the likely loss of 22 seafarer lives, a crack appearing on another VLOC, Stellar Unicorn, days later, and now, Splash can exclusively reveal, a defect has been found on the 1992-built Stellar Cosmo and it will leave its role as the on scene coordinator of the Stellar Daisy search and rescue mission to go off to be fixed.
In the wake of the Stellar Daisy and Stellar Unicorn incidents, Polaris rushed in an inspection in the last few days of its entire fleet. Like 19 of Polaris’s 32-strong fleet, the Stellar Cosmo started out as a VLCC before being converted to a VLOC in China. The local seafarer’s union in South Korea has questioned the seaworthiness of these converted ships in recent days.
Meanwhile, as the search for the missing Stellar Daisy enters its 13th day, Splash understands that key navies leading the mission are scaling back their resources as the chances of finding any survivors are now deemed faint.
Brazil, for instance, has stopped deploying its airforce for reconnaissance.