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Engine oil pressure cited in Maersk Eindhoven accident

Maersk has provided further details of its latest box spill mishap. The 13,100 teu Maersk Eindhoven experienced a loss of engine propulsion for three to four minutes while sailing 45 nautical miles off northern Japan in heavy seas last Wednesday. The loss of maneuverability resulted in severe rolling with 260 containers overboard and 65 containers damaged on deck.

Propulsion power was quickly restored on the vessel and the initial analysis from Maersk indicates engine oil pressure triggered a safety feature, causing the engines to shut down. No malfunction or maintenance issues have been identified. The crew is safe and a complete investigation is ongoing.

While MarineTraffic on Sunday had Yokohama as the vessel’s next port of call this has since changed on the vessel tracking site and the ship’s destination to unload boxes and have repairs remains unclear, although judging from its current location and direction Yokohama remains the most likely destination. As of 07.25 GMT, the vessel was 60 km off Yokohama.

The Hyundai Heavy-built ship is a sister ship to the Maersk Essen, which also lost 750 boxes overboard last month.

The plan had been for the Maersk Essen to depart from the Mexican port of Lazaro Cardenas on Saturday and to arrive at the port of Los Angeles, resuming its loop, by March 4. However, as of this morning, the vessel is still moored at the same berth in Mexico, according to vessel tracking from MarineTraffic.

There have now been six reported cases of boxes lost at sea in the Pacific in the space of just 79 days with around 3,000 containers plunging to the floor of the world’s largest ocean.

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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