Debunkering to commence on wood chip carrier Crimson Polaris

Photo: Japan Coast Guard

Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) has confirmed that the removal of oil from the fuel tanks of the damaged wood chip carrier Crimson Polaris will begin in the coming days after its bow has been towed to a port not far from where the vessel ran aground and split in two earlier this month.

The bow part of the ship’s fragmented hull was towed into Hachinohe Port in Aomori prefecture by a salvage company arranged by shipowner MI-DAS Line, and moored there on Friday, August 27.

NYK expects that, due to the weather and sea conditions, the work to remove the oil from the bow will take longer than anticipated. In order to make the work smoother and safer, the shipowner and ship-management company towed and moored the vessel in Hachinohe Port with the understanding and cooperation of the local government, related organisations, fishermen, and other concerned parties.

The contracted salvage company will remove the remaining oil from the bow of the ship and unload the cargo. NYK said that depending on weather and sea conditions, the removal of the remaining oil will be completed in mid-September, and the unloading of cargo will be completed at the end of the month.

Crimson Polaris, a Panamanian-flagged wood chip carrier, was at anchor off Hachinohe when strong winds caused it to drift until it ended up on a shallow area four kilometres off the coast on August 11. The hull suffered a breach that eventually worsened, and the ship split into two pieces the following morning.

The fragmentation of the hull also caused the ship’s oil and some of its cargo to spill into the sea. The clean-up of oil and debris in the surrounding waters is still ongoing.

All 21 of the ship’s crew were safely rescued in the hours following the grounding.

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