The Korean Register has issued a release correcting and clarifying some recent comments about sunken Very Large Ore Carrier (VLOC), MV Stellar Daisy (none of which appeared in IMN).
Stellar Daisy was built as a single hull Very Large Crude-Oil Carrier (VLCC) in 1993 at the Nagasaki Shipyard owned by Mitsubishi Heavy industries. In 2009 it was converted to a VLOC at the Zhoushan COSCO Shipyard in China.
The converted vessel was classed with Korean Register (KR) and was converted and surveyed in full accordance with KR’s rules and regulations, which comply with all the relevant international conventions. KR is a full member of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS).
KR noted that some media reports had referred to an “illegal modification of the converted vessel”. It said that the alleged modification of the vessel referred to the installation of a valve in a cargo space by the shipping company – which was done without the approval of KR. It had nothing to do with the conversion of the vessel, which was completed in full accordance with the rules and requirements of both KR and IACS.
Some media reports also referred to “a forged document by surveyors regarding the thickness of the steel plate on the vessel”. KR noted that the “surveyor” in question was not a KR class surveyor but a thickness measurement technician from another company. Furthermore, KR said that it understood that this charge concerned a forged document relating to the qualifications of the technician working for the thickness measurement company. KR emphasized that the charge did not relate to any KR surveyor.
Some media reports referred to an “incorrect inspection from KR”. This related to a dispute between the Busan Coast Guard and the KR surveyor who conducted the annual survey for the subject vessel “in full accordance with the relevant rules and requirements of both KR and IACS”.
There were also some reports that a warrant had been issued for the KR surveyor’s arrest. KR noted that on January 24th 2019, having reviewed all the relevant information and evidence, the Court rejected the request for an arrest warrant for the KR surveyor, which had been filed by the Busan Coast Guard.
KR said that “the safety of lives and safeguarding the marine environment continue to be to be priorities for KR and the society will continue to work with all the relevant authorities to assist with the investigation into the tragic loss of this vessel.”