Fire-Damaged Tankship Denied Asian Pacific Port of Refuge
A fire-damaged tankship, 'Maritime Maisie' loaded with hazardous chemicals has become a maritime football in the north Pacific, with Japan and South Korea unwilling to give it refuge even though they risk a wider environmental disaster if it sinks, reports Reuters.
The 44,000 dwt tanker, collided with another ship 9 nautical miles off Busan, South Korea, on December 29, 2013, Ying Jinghua, fleet director of MSI Ship Management, which manages the tanker's day-to-day operation informed Reuters. The accident caused a fire when a cargo tank holding the chemical acrylonitrile ruptured. The ship, owned by Aurora Tankers, part of Singapore's IMC Group, was carrying 29,337 metric tons of acrylonitrile, used to make plastics and synthetic rubber.
The Hong Kong-registered ship has been towed between South Korea and Japan following the collision and evacuation of the crew, amid efforts to persuade either of the countries to provide a place of refuge, where its remaining cargo could be safely offloaded to another ship.