Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. reported that the MOL-owned bulker Bright Century collided with a freighter in foggy conditions while under way on the high seas approximately 23 miles east of the Shangdong Peninsula (37°38”N 123°07”E), China. It sank some 40 minutes later, on May 2, 2010, at around 5:30 a.m. local time (GMT+8 hours). The crew of 23 (all Indians) was rescued by another vessel steaming nearby. The vessel with which Bright Century collided was the Liberia-registered Sea Success. That vessel’s crew was rescued by helicopter and all are safe. It has been reported that the Sea Success is now docked.
The Bright Century left Dampier, Australia, with about 170,000 tons of iron ore bound for the port of Bayuquan, Liaoning Province. At the time of its sinking, the vessel had around 400 tons of fuel oil and about 70 tons of diesel oil left in its tanks. An oil slick approximately 5,500 meters long and 1,000 meters wide has been observed, and Chinese authorities are taking the necessary countermeasures. As of May 7, none of the slick had touched shore.
On May 2, MOL established a task force headed by President Akimitsu Ashida.