Authorities fighting to prevent environmental disaster from listing ore carrier

Authorities fighting to prevent environmental disaster from listing ore carrier
Images Courtesy: Brazilian Navy

Following bow damage sustained while leaving port on Monday, the giant ore carrier MV Stellar Banner is listing badly off the coast of Brazil. The relevant companies and authorities are now fighting to avoid a potential environmental disaster, according to World Maritime News.

Based on the latest information from the Brazilian Navy, dated yesterday 27th February, there have been no fuel oil leaks confirmed.

The 2016-built bulker is owned by the South Korean shipping company Polaris Shipping and was heading for Qingdao, China, loaded with 275,000 tonnes of iron ore when it got disabled.

The vessel is stranded about 100 kilometres from the coast of São Luís, north eastern Brazil, outside the access channel of the Ponta da Madeira Maritime Terminal.

The naval authorities met yesterday with Brazilian miner giant Vale SA, Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama), salvage company Ardent Global, Environmental Management of Porto Itaqui and other relevant stakeholders to assess the situation.

Vale requested that Petrobras (major Brazilian oil company) dispatch oil spill recovery vessels to the site to contain potential spills.

The company has also requested that salvage specialists be hired in addition to Ardent Global, contracted by the owner of the vessel to remove the ship’s fuel oil and prevent potential pollution.

Ibama has been asked to place response ships and other containment equipment off the coast of Maranhão.

Ardent Global remains on site carrying out an inspection of the structural conditions of the ship and has four tugs for support and response in case of cargo or fuel oil leaks, the navy said, according to World Maritime News.

The navy has dispatched Buoy/Lighthouse Vessel Garnier Sampaio and ocean support vessel Iguatemi to the site and an aircraft was also set to fly over the ship to assess the situation. The ultimate aim is to remove of the stricken ship from the area.

The crew of 20 have already been evacuated from the ship.

According to Seatrade Maritime, this is not the first incident involving a Polaris Shipping owned vessel. The converted Stellar Daisy sank on 31 March 2017 with the loss of 22 lives.

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