Kea Trader splits in two

Containership Kea Trader (IMO 9701281) which had 80% of its hull sitting on Durand Reef, a hard rock reef off New Caledonia, in bad weather and rough sea conditions since it ran aground on July 12th, has split into two parts. 19-ft waves caused a rapid expansion in vertical buckling, leading to the split on Sunday. The ship, only a few months old, was declared a total loss last month.

In October a rare ideal weather window and high tide permitted the recovery team to attempt an accelerated re-floating operation, but this merely served to rotate the vessel by 60 degrees, with the rudder remaining firmly in the same position.

Ardent had been attempting to remove the last containers from below deck – between 100 and 150 are thought to remain – although poor weather and heavy swells continued to hamper this activity. Even in good weather the vessel was being affected by constant sea movement. Some containers were apparently lost overboard when the vessel ruptured. All salvage personnel had evacuated the ship when the severe weather was predicted.

Owners Lomar have said that the vessel eventually will be removed. The company noted that damage to the vessel had been increasing every month since the accident. It said that a heavy storm at the weekend had added stress to the buckling, causing the split. The 2,194 teu boxship was built by Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard in China and was delivered to Lomar Shipping in March.

2017-built, Malta-flagged, 25,145 gt Kea Trader is owned by Kea Trader GmbH care of Lomar Deutschland of Bremen, Germany. ISM manager is Columbia Shipmanagement-GEU of Hamburg, Germany. It is entered with Skuld. Norwegian Hull Club covers the vessel for hull and machinery.