Kea Trader is a total loss, owner says

Containership Kea Trader, (IMO:9701281) which ran hard aground on a reef off New Caledonia on July 12th, is a total loss and will have to be recycled, shipowner Lomar Shipping has said, noting that underwater inspections had identified extensive damage to the ship’s hull, rudder and propeller.

“Most double bottom tanks have been affected. There is water ingress in all five cargo holds, which is being controlled by portable pumps where possible to protect cargo,” the company said in an update on Friday September 29th.

It added that there was evidence of further structural damage within the vessel and additional deterioration being caused, as it continued to remain hard aground on a rock reef in the South Pacific. Poor winter weather conditions continued to hamper the salvage operation. A recent heavy storm in the South Pacific forced the ship’s crew and the majority of salvage workers to leave the vessel as a precaution, for the second time since the grounding.

Lomar said that the situation was being managed by the Ardent recovery team, with assistance from the ship’s own crew, but noted that “given the nature of the damage already known, that expected in currently inaccessible areas, and as a result of the vessel’s continuing deterioration, the company has regrettably had to agree with its H&M insurer that the vessel cannot be repaired and will need to be recycled”. Ardent will continue to work on refloating the vessel and to salvage its remaining cargo, while also protecting the marine environment, in agreement with Lomar, before disposing of the vessel.

“We are committed to the safe removal of Kea Trader while also protecting the marine environment. We will continue to devote all necessary resources and work closely with Ardent, our P&I Club Skuld, and the local authorities in New Caledonia, to deliver on this plan,” Lomar.

Kea Trader was signalled at last week’s International Group conference for correspondents as one of the more significant shipping losses for 2017.

More than two-thirds of 756 containers have been rescued from the vessel,. Some 532 units have been discharged and delivered ashore in Noumea, New Caledonia.

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.