Polaris Shipping inspecting entire fleet in wake of Stellar Daisy sinking

Polaris Shipping inspecting entire fleet in wake of Stellar Daisy sinking

Polaris Shipping, the world’s largest VLOC owner, is now carrying out inspections on all its fleet in the wake of the likely sinking of the Stellar Daisy and a crack appearing on another 1993-built vessel, Stellar Unicorn. Eleven days since the Stellar Daisy was first reported missing, a multinational coalition of naval and merchant vessels continue to scour the South Atlantic for the giant 266,000 dwt converted VLCC. Just two of the 24-crew have been found alive so far.

Meanwhile, repairs are ongoing off Cape Town on the Stellar Unicorn after a 15 cm crack was discovered on the outer hull of a starboard tank. Due to inclement weather the repairs are expected to take until Thursday to complete at which point the ship will continue with its cargo of Brazilian iron ore bound for China.

Last week a Korean seafarers union questioned whether Polaris Shipping’s fleet is fit for purpose and suggested tankers that have been converted into bulkers are dangerous.

The Federation of Korean Seafarer’s Unions (FKSU) has issued a statement blasting the owner, Polaris, as well as urging the Korean government to take steps to ensure the disaster does not happen again.

The federation noted that of Polaris’s 32 bulkers, 19 were tanker conversions.

“We can’t help but think that it is possible for similar accidents to happen in future,” the statement read.

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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3 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Andrew Craig-Bennett
    April 11, 2017 at 10:34 am

    That’s nice.

    Those who have even a nodding acquaintance with steelwork inspection issues on single hull VLCCs are likely to be thinking the same thoughts, on reading this.

  2. Avatar
    Peter Templeton
    April 12, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    One would think that the structural dynamics between a design for a liquid cargo converted to a dry cargo would have some issues.

  3. Avatar
    Kaare Stroemsli
    April 15, 2017 at 7:05 am

    Peter, agree and converting to ore/bulk cargo need more structural strenghtening.
    I’m suprice that world ships authorites let such ships operate in the bulk busienss.