Bulk carrier suffers water ingress off Queensland coast

Australian authorities responded to a call for assistance from bulk carrier Frontier Unity (IMO 9604976) while it was anchored near a coal port in Queensland.

The vessel’s captain reported water in the engine room up to seven metres. However, the vessel was said to be in no immediate danger of sinking.

According to AIS data the vessel had been holding approximately 15nm off the port of Hay Point, one of the biggest coal ports in Australia, for several weeks (arrived December 22nd 2022). However, it was not reported to be loaded with coal. The vessel has a crew of 24 aboard and there were no plans to evacuate the ship.

The call for assistance was received around noon on January 24th. Two tug boats from Hay Point were sent to assist the vessel.

Because the ship was anchored within Australian territorial waters, Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) and the Volunteer Marine Rescue were leading the response. The Australia Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) was monitoring the situation.

A spokesperson for MSQ said they had been advised by the ship that a pump in the engine room had malfunctioned. When it stopped working the ship experienced water in the engine room.

AMSA said it understood that commercial divers had been performing work on the vessel and that it was following the repair work that the ship began taking on the water. MSQ reported that divers and engineers were being sent to the ship to assist.

By later on January 24th the situation was reported as stabilized. The tugboats continued to stand by.

2012-built, Panama-flagged, 93,074 gt Frontier Unity is owned by Nissen Kaiun Co Ltd/Southern Route of Imabari, Japan. ISM manager is Synergy Ocean Maritime Inc of Manila, Philippines. It is entered with North of England on behalf of Southern Route Maritime SA. As of January 26th it was at Hay Point anchorage Queensland, Australia.