Dry CargoOperations

Front three-quarters of the Wakashio bulk carrier now sitting on the floor of the Indian Ocean

The front three-quarters of the giant Wakashio bulk carrier are now sitting on the floor of the Indian Ocean some 25 km off the coast of Mauritius despite significant opposition to the scuttling by locals.

Salvors had towed the wrecked bow and open holds of the newcastlemax to its final resting place over the weekend where it was scuttled. Attention will now turn to dismantling the aft of the vessel, sitting on a reef around 2 km off the south of the island republic.

The Nagashiki Shipping newcastlemax deviated from its course last month, grounding near UNESCO protected marine parks off Mauritius on July 25 and subsequently spilling around 1,000 tonnes of bunker fuel and splitting into two. The captain and the first officer were arrested earlier this week, accused of “endangering safe navigation”.

The government in Mauritius has created an online platform for locals to submit claims for any losses created by the shipping accident and oil slick. Claims will be sent to the shipowner and its insurer, the Japan P&I Club, the government said.

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.

Comments

      1. Things you should know. The crew were Filipino nationals, but it appears the Master(Captain) is Indian, aged 58. He and the Chief Officer(probably the Officer on Watch at the time), a Sri Lankan, were taken into custody.
        By all accounts there was a birthday party being held at the time. The ship was steering close to Mauritius in order to be within range of a 4G cellphone signal so that they could talk to their families at home. Apparently this is a widespread practice in modern shipping, and may account for a number of similar accidents. The Mauritius authorities detected the ship on a course that would put it aground and repeatedly called the ship, probably on Channel 16 VHF radio, to warn it off. They received no reply.
        Absent mechanical problems, which have never been reported, the ship ran aground because there was nobody on the bridge keeping a proper lookout by ear(radio) or sight, since the ship ran aground in broad daylight. Although making a landfall, the Master was not on the bridge either. Therefore the bridge was unmanned, probably on autopilot, while the crew took part in the birthday party, the high point of which was saying hello to family in the Philippines or India by 4G cellphone connecting via Mauritius.
        So…….the Master was delinquent, and should be jailed for the environmental damage that was inflicted upon the coastline. Being 58, it is unlikely he will sail again. On a lesser charge, because he was subordinate to the Master, the Chief Officer should be censured and his licence withdrawn, with less jail time.
        Now, the Mauritius government must look at this practice of ships passing dangerously close to it’s shore to obtain a 4G signal. One strategy may be to increase 4G power so that it is receivable, say, 10 miles offshore. This should then be promulgated throughout the world shipping industry.
        This, and declaring a 10 mile exclusion zone, setting up radar coverage out 24 miles or so, and having a helicopter on stand by to ward off ships that penetrate the 10-Mile exclusion zone. If it’s affordable small, high-speed military craft should be patrolling and also respond to penetration of the exclusion zone detected by the radar station(s).
        That is the only way l can see Mauritius not being a victim of this practice in the future, with the same result. The pollution can never be removed completely. Check the enduring effect of the Exxon Valdez disaster upon Alaska, to this day. Had the Wakashio” been a tanker the damage would have been cataclysmic. (repeat post after earlier posts not being put up)

        irvingwood@colinsmith.serverdata.net

        Sent from my iPad

        “Nothing About Us, Without Us, is For Us”

    1. Why are these capitalist corporations allowed to treat the earth as their private trash heap? Regardless of cost, dumping ships or parts thereof into the ocean should be outlawed, and salvors forced to tow the hulks to a ship breaker for disposal.

      1. Things you should know. The crew were Filipino nationals, but it appears the Master(Captain) is Indian, aged 58. He and the Chief Officer(probably the Officer on Watch at the time), a Sri Lankan, were taken into custody.
        By all accounts there was a birthday party being held at the time. The ship was steering close to Mauritius in order to be within range of a 4G cellphone signal so that they could talk to their families at home. Apparently this is a widespread practice in modern shipping, and may account for a number of similar accidents. The Mauritius authorities detected the ship on a course that would put it aground and repeatedly called the ship, probably on Channel 16 VHF radio, to warn it off. They received no reply.
        Absent mechanical problems, which have never been reported, the ship ran aground because there was nobody on the bridge keeping a proper lookout by ear(radio) or sight, since the ship ran aground in broad daylight. Although making a landfall, the Master was not on the bridge either. Therefore the bridge was unmanned, probably on autopilot, while the crew took part in the birthday party, the high point of which was saying hello to family in the Philippines or India by 4G cellphone connecting via Mauritius.
        So…….the Master was delinquent, and should be jailed for the environmental damage that was inflicted upon the coastline. Being 58, it is unlikely he will sail again. On a lesser charge, because he was subordinate to the Master, the Chief Officer should be censured and his licence withdrawn, with less jail time.
        Now, the Mauritius government must look at this practice of ships passing dangerously close to it’s shore to obtain a 4G signal. One strategy may be to increase 4G power so that it is receivable, say, 10 miles offshore. This should then be promulgated throughout the world shipping industry.
        This, and declaring a 10 mile exclusion zone, setting up radar coverage out 24 miles or so, and having a helicopter on stand by to ward off ships that penetrate the 10-Mile exclusion zone. If it’s affordable small, high-speed military craft should be patrolling and also respond to penetration of the exclusion zone detected by the radar station(s).
        That is the only way l can see Mauritius not being a victim of this practice in the future, with the same result. The pollution can never be removed completely. Check the enduring effect of the Exxon Valdez disaster upon Alaska, to this day. Had the Wakashio” been a tanker the damage would have been cataclysmic. (repeat post after earlier posts not being put up)

        irvingwood@colinsmith.serverdata.net

        Sent from my iPad

        “Nothing About Us, Without Us, is For Us”

        1. Very good suggestion concerning the increase of 4G connection and the declaration of a 10 mile exclusion,

  1. I wonder if they used explosives to sink it, I’d love to see the video of that.

  2. Hi when you observe the 1st photographs of the wakashio when it 1st ran aground at full speed 11 knots the hull damage below the ballast water line is very evident,when you observe the stern section(rudder/Prop?…damage there will be in the stern tube,lower engine room flooding,ruptured engine room water pipes,ballast pipes,etc,during low tide you can walk up to the wakashio.at high tide you can go by rubber duck,boat..the wakashio was hard aground when it came in over the reef,now in that specific location,the reef has many jagged reef,flat surfaced rocks,any ship coming over that reef in that location is going to be hull damaged,ruptured,engine room flooding,you name it…the wakashio ship 2nd position with its bow stuck on the reef,slanting with a flooded engine room,to get there it needs a tug/supply vessel to attach a towing line to the bow and pull it to get to the 2nd position,so where does the responsiblity of the oil spill rest with,soley the captain,of the “Tug/supply Vessel”1st on scene because it is physically impossible at “High/Sprint Tide” with flooded engine room,to turn on its axis,it means the wakashio captain can only be charged with negligence,bad navigation etc,because of the various aspects of the reef below the lowest waterline no ship that size has the bouyancy,neither the physical physics involved to move from the 1st position to its 2nd position unless a underpowered “tug/Supply vessel” with a bow attacked towline,its like a “car trying to pull a Loaded dumptruck”,its underpowered..in the 1st instance,if the wakashio was left in its original grounding position even with all the other factors involved the bunker fuel leak would have been minimal,any ship that is placed in that 2nd position is simply going to tear apart,and that to date is not mentioned in media,neither AIS Data Tracking Records,knowing what type of reef you dealing with indicates the hull was ruptured when the ship ran aground,the lower engine room would have been ruptured inner hull piping,like ballast,waste water etc,knowing how such a bulker is assembled will give you a accurate idea of where the engine room,hull was ruptured,so the “:Tug/supply” vessel could have only towqed the Wakashio,because the Wakashio based on its weight,length,dept of water,low/high tide below the hull makes it physically impossible for the wakashio to move to its 2nd position unless a underpowered tug/supply vessel attempting to tow the wakashio bow 1st failed..these are factors overlooked completely by the media

    1. I assume that after grounding,the Master did a thorough inspection of his ship and took sounding all round,reporting same to his owners and local authorities,I fail to understand why no actions were taken to hold the ship in the original grounding position awaiting the arrival of salvage experts.Laying the two anchors and commissioning one of the harbour tugs to hold the stern into the prevailing weather condition might have prevented further damages.I am eagerly awaiting the result of the enquiry.

      1. Another question:
        At Durban, Smit Salvage has two very powerful seagoing tugs: JOHN ROSS and WOLRAAD WOLTEMADE. Why didn’t they use them? These tugs can develop 22 knots, and they could reach Mauritius in two days.

  3. I just watched an interesting video shot by a Frenchwoman on Mauritius. Although they should never have been forced to do this, the Mauritians really stepped up. They made their own containment booms from a thick fabric, filling them with old plastic bottles to help them float, then sewed them shut. They also made absorbent mats out of human hair – volunteer barbers incentivized people to “donat their hair” by offering hair trims at no cost to them.

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