Less than two weeks after the loss of the ore carrier Giant Step off Kashima,
heavy weather has brought about the grounding of two large bulkers at the same Japanese port.
Ocean Longevity’s 175,000dwt Ocean Victory ran aground
just outside the breakwater yesterday afternoon
after discharging part of its 170,000t ore cargo, loaded in South Africa.
The vessel’s master is reported to have decided to
move the vessel away from the terminal halfway through discharging
as a precaution against strong winds and high waves from a passing depression.
Later, at around 2000 local time, the Daiichi Chuo
Kisen-operated Panama-flag Ellida Ace, carrying 160,000 tonnes of iron ore from Canada,
ran aground close to the northern end of Kashima breakwater.
All 24 crew of the Ocean Victory and 20 Filipino
seamen from Ellida Ace were airlifted by Japan Coast Guard (JCG) helicopters.
JCG sources confirmed that all the rescued crew were uninjured.
Tugs were standing by, but sea conditions continued to hamper refloating efforts.
At midday GMT today the Ocean Victory was reported to be stable,
but some of its ballast tanks and cargo holds were flooded.
The vessel had not spilled oil but water leaking
from the cargo holds had been discoloured by cargo.
The Ellida Ace was described as “stable but with a 5 degree list to port”.
No oil spill has occurred, but the ship's bow continued to be awash, and
was being battered by the swell.
Operators reported that the vessel had about 330 tons of heavy fuel on board
and that a salvage tug was due to arrive to commence salvage efforts tomorrow.