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Wood Chip Carrier Crimson Polaris Splits in Two Off Japanese Port

Update: The wood chip carrier Crimson Polaris has split in two off Japan’s Port of Hachinohe after initially running into trouble Wednesday morning.

“The hull of the vessel, a dedicated woodchip carrier operated by NYK, split in two at 4:15 am on August 12, and oil from the vessel has spilt into the ocean. The amount is currently under investigation,” NYK confirmed in an update.

“The split hull is about 4 kilometers offshore, and the onsite response is being carried out by Japan Coast Guard patrol boats, tugboats, etc.

“NYK has organized a crisis management center led by NYK president Hitoshi Nagasawa to rapidly address the situation. The company is cooperating with related parties based on advice from the Japan Coast Guard. Company personnel have been sent to the site, and necessary support will be provided to the shipowner and shipmanagement company. We hope the situation will be bought to a safe and timely conclusion.”

Earlier: A Panamaflagged wood chip carrier grounded and is reportedly suffering from a cracked hull just off the coast of Hachinohe, Japan, located on the northeast coast of Honshu island.

The Japanese Coast Guard received a distress call from the captain of the Crimson Polaris around 7:50 a.m. indicating the vessel was having trouble navigating in heavy weather, according to Japanese media reports. The ship reportedly grounded outside the breakwater Hachinohe Port, was refloated on its own, and has since dropped anchor.

Reporting indicates all 21 crew members have been evacuated by helicopter from the vessel.

NYK, the ship’s operator, has now confirmed the incident in a statement (below), adding that a portion of the cargo was lost “from the damaged part of the hull.”

AIS data shows an irregular track just off the coast of Hachinohe. At this time the ship is not believed to be in danger of breaking up or sinking.

NYK confirmed the vessel was “swept away by a strong wind while anchored and resultantly ran aground.”

The Crimson Polaris was built in 2013 and has a deadweight of 49,549 tonnes.

The vessel and conditions can be seen in the report below:

NYK statement:

Crimson Polaris, a dedicated woodchip carrier operated by NYK, was swept away by a strong wind while anchored and resultantly ran aground off Hachinohe in Aomori prefecture at around 7:35 am (JST) on August 11.

Afterward, a portion of the ship’s woodchip cargo was lost from the damaged part of the hull, NYK is currently confirming the amount of cargo and the impact on the sea area at the site. Fortunately, no oil pollution has occurred. All crew members have been evacuated from the ship with the cooperation of the Japan Coast Guard, and those seafarers have been confirmed to be safe.

The vessel is owned by MIDAS Line S.A. and managed by Misuga Kaiun Co. Ltd. NYK is currently chartering this ship from the shipowner.

NYK has organized a crisis management center lead by NYK president Hitoshi Nagasawa to rapidly address the situation. The company is cooperating with related parties based on advice from the Japan Coast Guard. Company personnel have been sent to the site, and necessary support will be provided to the shipowner and shipmanagement company. We hope the situation will be bought to a safe and timely conclusion.

Profile of Crimson Polaris

Type of ship: Woodchip carrier
Length/Breadth: 199.9M / 32.2M
GRT: 39,910 tonnes
Built: 2008
Seafarers: 21 (Chinese, Filipino)
Flag: Panama
Shipowner: MIDAS Line S.A.
Shipmanagement company: Misuga Kaiun Co. Ltd.

The opinions expressed herein are the author’s and not necessarily those of News2Sea.

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