This is the official Australian report.
This saga is must reading for anyone interested in marine safety.
A Nigerian owners buys a laid up 7032 dwt Chinese coastal tanker unseen.
Sends a crew out.
The ship built in 2006 was nearly new,
but it had been laid up since build.
Crew finds the ship in very poor condition with myriad defects,
including nil spares.
Labels and manuals are all in Chinese.
Owner decides to use IFO (heavy fuel) for most of voyage to Africa.
C/E informs correctly informs the owner
that the engine has only run on MDO and
requires modifications to run on IFO.
Owner decides to use IFO anyway without making the modifications.
He loads 250 tons of MDO
and 400 tons of IFO, saving about $80,000.
C/E has never been on an IFO ship before.
His experience is mainly in offshore supply boats
using only MDO.
Ship leaves China on 2008-01-07 with almost no testing or trials,
running on MDO.
Air con is not working, among many other systems.
After passing through the Sunda Strait,
on 2008-01-20, they are forced to change to IFO.
Immediately have all kinds of problems:
clogged filters, clogged injectors, etc, etc
in part because the IFO is improperly heated,
possibly wrong gravity disc in purifiers, wrong filters.
Somewhere along the way they contaminate
most of the remaining MDO with IFO
by mistakenly transferring IFO in cargo tanks
to an MDO tank.
All the valve labels are in Chinese.
Master decides to drift in the Indian Ocean
to allow owner time to send him MDO for rest of voyage.
Owner does pretty much nothing for several weeks.
After three weeks, running out of water, food,
faced with near-mutiny, Master decides
to head for Cocos Islands at low power.
On 2008-02-11 Breakthrough anchors off South Keeling.
Normal SE trade switches to westerly wind
putting ship on a lee shore.
On 2008-02-12 anchor begins to drag,
extra anchor and slow ahead fails to keep
the ship from grounding,
damaging steering gear and propeller.
On 2008-02-13 Breakthough is refloated.
On 2008-02-28 she begins a tow to Singapore.