The owners of the Kea Trader boxship, which has split in two on a reef off New Caledonia, have vowed to remove the wrecked ship.
Four months of continual pounding in sometime storm-force seas and the stress of sitting hard aground a flat rock reef in July resulted in the brand new 2,194 teu Kea Trader fracturing vertically over the weekend.
Noticeable vertical buckling in the mid-section of the hull side expanded during violent six-metre waves, causing the vessel to rupture completely into two halves on Sunday.
A spokesman for the vessel’s owner, Lomar Shipping, said: “Damage to the vessel has increased with every month that she has been hard aground. A noticeable buckling in the hull side developed following an unsuccessful re-floating attempt at the beginning of October, along with other clear damage to the bottom of the vessel. Whilst this has all been closely monitored and assessed by specialist structural engineers, a heavy storm at the weekend added substantial additional stress and caused the ship to split into two. We remain committed to removing the vessel whilst also ensuring that the marine environment is protected and will be working with our partners to ensure this is realised.”