Nur Allya search teams race to check reports of oil slick

Nur Allya search teams race to check reports of oil slick

Ten days since the Nur Allya bulker was last heard from, search and rescue teams headed today to waters around Obi island in the North Maluku in eastern Indonesian to check local reports of an oil spill being sighted.

The 52,400 dwt ship, carrying nickel ore, sent a distress signal on August 20 and has not been seen since. The vessel had a 25-strong crew.

Search operations have been hampered by bad weather, with authorities asking all ships in the area to report any possible signs of the bulk carrier, including floating debris.

International dry bulk shipping association Intercargo urged all shipping companies yesterday to exercise “extreme caution” when accepting, for carriage, nickel ore and other cargoes that have the potential to liquefy.

“Moisture related cargo shifting and incidents on voyage, widely known as liquefaction, continue to be a major concern for dry bulk shipping,” Intercargo stated in a release yesterday.

Cargo liquefaction has accounted for more than 50% of all deaths onboard dry bulk vessels over the past decade.

The 2002-built Nur Allya was involved in a double collision in Singaporean waters in January 2015, an accident that led to a lengthy legal case at the High Court of Singapore.

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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