The Stellar Daisy has been located six hundred and eighty-eight days after the giant VLOC sank in the south Atlantic, spurring hope to the families of the bereaved that investigations might finally be concluded into one of the most deadly bulker accidents in recent years.
Twenty-two of the 24 crew onboard the 1993-built converted ore carrier perished on March 31, 2017 when the Polaris Shipping ship sank while on contract to Brazilian miner Vale.
Ocean Infinity, a US-based seabed survey company, revealed Sunday it has located the wreck of the lost South Korean bulker, Stellar Daisy, at a depth of 3,461 m in the South Atlantic, approximately 1,800 nautical miles due west of Cape Town.
The American company had deployed the subsea construction vessel Seabed Constructor over the past week to find the vessel. Four autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) (pictured) were deployed, which, over 72 search hours, explored approximately 1,300 sq m of seabed.
Oliver Plunkett, Ocean Infinity’s CEO, commented on Sunday: “Through the deployment of multiple state of the art AUVs, we are covering the seabed with unprecedented speed and accuracy.”
Representatives of both the government of South Korea and the families of Stellar Daisy’s crew were present throughout the operation. The families of the bereaved will now be hoping that an operation will be mounted to retrieve the ship’s voyage data recorder to conclude investigations into the deadly accident. Twenty-three months after the ship sank, the flag of the Stellar Daisy, the Marshall Islands, has yet to publish its findings into the disaster.