UPDATE : NYK, the operator of Crimson Polaris has issued an update as below (19th August 2021)
10 NYK employees were dispatched on August 18 to assist in the area clean-up.
Under the guidance of the Maritime Disaster Prevention Center, the clean-up contractor arranged by the shipowner has continued the clean-up of oil and cargo adrift and on the shoreline.
As the charterer of the vessel, NYK has dispatched company personnel to the site to assist with the clean-up of the cargo and other debris that has washed ashore.
The first group of 10 people were dispatched for two days and one night, and we plan to continue these dispatches of employee groups. In order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, NYK workers take appropriate infection-control measures and work under the guidance of the cleaning contractor.
UPDATE : NYK, the operator of Crimson Polaris has issued an update as below
1．Control of spilled oil (as of 7:00 p.m. JST on August 12)
As of August 11, when the vessel ran aground, the ship had about 1,550 MT of heavy oil and about 130 MT of diesel oil for fuel. The amount of oil that has been spilled into the ocean has not been identified. The Maritime Disaster Prevention Center is continuing to control the oil spill using oil-treatment agents and adsorption mats. In addition, as soon as oil is confirmed to have drifted to the coast, oil recovery companies are prepared to perform beach cleaning.
2．Status of the ship
A crack that initially occurred between the No. 5 cargo hold and the No. 6 cargo hold at the rear of the vessel worsened, and the hull eventually split into two. The bow is floating and held by an anchor chain, and the stern appears to have become stranded on the seabed. The shipowner and ship-management company are currently in discussions with relevant authorities and salvage companies concerning towing and treatment of the separated hull, with the prevention of environmental pollution being given the highest priority. We are carefully monitoring the situation.
3. Investigation of the accident cause
The cause of the accident is currently being confirmed, and investigative authorities are conducting an interview with the vessel captain.
Crimson Polaris, a dedicated wood-chip carrier operated by NYK, owned by MI-DAS Line S.A and managed by Misuga Kaiun Co. Ltd was swept away by strong winds while it was anchored and ran aground off Hachinohe in Aomori prefecture in Japan on 11th August 2021.
The hull of the vessel eventually split in two in the early hours of 12th August and oil from the vessel has spilt into the ocean. The oil leak from the ship has reportedly spread around 15 miles but the extent of any environmental impact and quantity is still under investigation and unclear as yet.
Authorities were trying to contain the oil leak but have not yet been able to erect an oil fence around the boat as per a Japanese Coast Guard spokesperson.
The split hull of the Crimson Polaris is about 4 km offshore of Hachinohe Port, on the northeast coast of Japan’s Honshu island with on-site response is being carried out by Japan Coast Guard patrol boats and tugboats.
“The vessel’s two parts have not moved and are being closely monitored by patrol boats, and by late afternoon there had been no apparent major change in its situation“, a Japanese Coast Guard spokesperson said.
“The patrol boats will operate overnight to avoid collisions”, he said, adding that “no other ship was known to be involved in the accident.”
All 21 crew members consisting of Chinese and Filipinos were safely evacuated from the ship by helicopter from the vessel with the assistance of the Japanese Coast Guard.
NYK has issued a press release about the maritime disaster advising that a crisis management center has been set up led by NYK president Hitoshi Nagasawa to rapidly address the situation.
“Company personnel have been sent to the site, and necessary support will be provided to the shipowner and ship-management company. We hope the situation will be bought to a safe and timely conclusion.” the release said.
The Crimson Polaris is a specialised wood chip carrier with a DWT of 49,549 tonnes and a GRT of 39,910-tonne and was registered in Panama.
The ship built in 2013 was said to be on its way from Thailand to Japan when the ship sent out a distress call to the Japanese Coast Guard indicating that the ship was having trouble navigating heavy weather.