More than 1,100 of containers that fell from Angel remain missing

As of the afternoon of July 24th only 206 of the 1,349 empty containers that fell into the water when container ship Angel (IMO 9256406) sank while anchored off Kaohsiung port had been recovered (IMN, July 24th).

The port company said that it had tracked down 573 of the containers, noting that 120 had been washed ashore, while 247 have sunk. The latter figure included 87 that were found, but which sank during the recovery process. Most of the containers were located in the areas off of Linyuan District in Kaohsiung and Donggang Township in Pingtung County, southwestern Taiwan.

Multiple agencies had been enlisted to recover the containers, the port company said.

The Kaohsiung Branch of Taiwan International Ports Co. was working with Kaohsiung City government, the Coast Guard Administration, Kaohsiung Harbor Bureau and the Fisheries Agency. 17 vessels were sent to retrieve the containers, many of which have been spotted floating in the water off the city’s Linyuan District and Donggang Township.

An additional problem was the approach of Typhoon Doksuri, which added a sense of urgency to the issue (see previous story). A few oil spills were also found. The Kaohsiung Branch of Taiwan International Ports Co. has dispatched a total of 39 boats since July 20th, when the captain of the Angel issued a distress message.

A salvage team checked the ship on July 23rd, sealing vents connected to the oil tanks and pumping out the oil to avoid any leakage. The tanks reportedly contained 393.4 tonnes of low sulphur fuel, 98.1 tonnes of light diesel, and 0.348 tonnes of lubricating oil.

Details about the ship’s ownership and recent operations are unclear. The Equasis database lists as the owner Navramar Shipping, which is based in the Marshall Islands. It had acquired the ship in May 2023. The ship was registered in Palau and management is listed as being located in Azerbaijan. Equasis reports it was removed from the Indian registry and by DNV as of the beginning of June, showing the vessel’s current class status as unknown. Further, the database does not list a Port State inspection since 2018.

The ship’s owner will be required by law to submit a salvage plan to the port. Officials said they are asking the managers for a plan to remove the oil from the ship, address the containers floating in the waterways, and for the eventual refloating and removal of the hulk.

2003-built, Palau-flagged, 16,145 gt Angel is owned and managed by Navramar Shipping Inc of Majuro, Marshall Islands. ISM manager is Zulu Shipping LLC of Baku, Azerbaijan.