More than seven weeks since the Stellar Daisy sank in the South Atlantic with the loss of 22 lives, its registry the Marshall Islands has finally issued a terse statement on the incident.
The flag, run by International Registries, Inc (IRI), has come in for flak for its prolonged silence since the giant 266,000 dwt converted ore carrier listed and sank on March 31, especially since other IRI-flagged converted ore carriers belonging to the same Korean owner, Polaris Shipping, have also since had their own troubles.
The Marshall Islands has deployed two inspection teams to look at the 12 converted ore carriers in its fleet while IRI said an “in-depth investigation” was ongoing into the cause of the Stellar Daisy disaster.
“The investigation into the loss of the Stellar Daisy and its crewmembers is the administrator’s top priority,” said John Ramage, deputy commissioner of maritime affairs.
IRI spokespeople have yet to reply to a number of questions sent by Splash.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Polaris told Splash today that another converted VLOC, Stellar Queen, is still not ready to resume its voyage to China, more than three weeks after it was forced to stop at a Brazilian anchorage after cracks emerged on the ship.
“The Stellar Queen has undergone class inspection and is being repaired afloat at Brazil,” a spokesperson said. Another converted VLOC, Stellar Unicorn, belonging to Polaris was forced to stop off Cape Town days after the Stellar Daisy sunk after cracks were found. Meanwhile, two vessel monitoring services, VesselFinder and FleetMon, have reported that the cracks were also found on a Polaris capesize, Solar Ember, on May 5. The ship is now en route to China to discharge.