Watch: NYK Chartered Wood-Chip Carrier ‘Crimson Polaris’ Splits Into Two

A Japanese bulker, Crimson Polaris, transporting wood chips, grounded in the middle of a storm off the Japanese Coast. It broke apart later, off the Hachinohe port, located on the northeast coast of Japan’s island of Honshu.

The Japan Coast Guard managed to evacuate the crew and initial reports stated that the vessel was not at risk of danger.

2 parts of Japanese Woodchip carrier Crimson Polaris from the side
Image Credits: Japan Coast Guard

The 39,910 gross tons, NYK Line-operated Crimson Polaris had been inbound on 11th August from Thailand. The vessel was loaded with about 44,000 tons of wood chips when the vessel was confronted with a steering issue. It was eventually washed ashore by turbulent winds.

Media reports suggested that the ship’s captain had reported losing control, even though NYK stated that owing to poor weather conditions, the carrier was docked outside the port.

Japanese Woodchip carrier Crimson Polaris
Image Credits: Japan Coast Guard

At around 8 am (local time), the Japan Coast Guard had unexpectedly received a distress call from the vessel. Around 2 pm, they had started an airlift by a helicopter that lasted about five hours for ferrying the 21 member crew to the shore.

Crew being rescued from Woodchip carrier Crimson Polaris by Japan Coast Guard
Image Credits: Japan Coast Guard

In the initial report, NYK had said that there had been some cargo leakage from the Crimson Polaris owing to damage to the hull. The Japan Coast Guard reportedly mentioned that it had not experienced any kind of oil spillage and believed that the vessel was not at risk.

2 parts of Japanese Woodchip carrier Crimson Polaris from the side
Image Credits: Japan Coast Guard

On 12 August, around 4:15 am, the Crimson Polaris had broken into two forwards of its deckhouse. The wreck is about 2.5 miles offshore. An unspecified quantity of oil spillage had been reported. Extensive investigation and containment activities are underway.

2 parts of Japanese Woodchip carrier Crimson Polaris from front
Image Credits: Japan Coast Guard

The Crimson Polaris was constructed in 2008 and is registered in Panama.


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