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Polaris VLOC salvage progresses

Polaris Shipping, the Korean owner of the grounded, fully laden Stellar Banner VLOC off Brazil, reports that the oil sheen seen around the stricken four-year-old ship has disappeared but anti-pollution measures remain in place.

Police have opened up an investigation into the accident that saw the huge ship come to rest on a sandbar having hit an unidentified object 100 km into a journey from Brazil to China with a cargo of more than 290,000 tons of iron ore onboard.

Savlage company Ardent Global is now pushing ahead with a de-bunkering plan. There are around 4,000 tons of fuel on the ship.

Two holes have been identified by local authorities toward the front of the ship, but a spokesperson for Polaris was adamant that the ship’s structure remains sound despite the constant buffeting by the waves.

“Despite having run aground, overall analysis indicates that the weight of the vessel is well distributed on the sand bank without specific points of stress on the hull, thus the vessel remains stable with its own power,” a spokesperson for Polaris told Splash today.

Diving inspections are already examining the hull condition. The salvage team is looking at the possibility of towing the ship back to the port it had just left to unload its cargo.

 

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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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