Wood chip carrier splits in two following grounding off north-eastern Japan; all on board rescued

Photo: Japan Coast Guard

A cargo vessel chartered by Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) split in two after it ran aground off Hachinohe in north-eastern Japan’s Aomori prefecture on Wednesday, August 11.

Crimson Polaris, a Panamanian-flagged 199-metre wood chip carrier owned by Japanese operator MI-DAS Line, was at anchor off Hachinohe when it was swept away by a strong wind, causing it to run aground some four kilometres off the coast at 07:35 local time on Wednesday.

NYK said that the grounding caused a hull breach, which in turn caused some of the vessel’s oil to spill into the surrounding waters. The breach worsened, and the ship subsequently split into two pieces at 04:15 on Thursday, August 12.

The Japan Coast Guard and other agencies safely rescued all 21 of Crimson Polaris‘ crew, which included Chinese and Filipino nationals.

NYK said it is currently working with local authorities to determine whether any of the vessel’s cargo had fallen into the sea as a result of the incident.

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