Polaris agrees compensation with 17 families of lost crewmembers

Polaris Shipping, the South Korean operator of sunken VLOC Stellar Daisy (IMO: 9038725) , has agreed compensation with the families of 17 of the lost crew members. Stellar Daisy sank on March 31st, with only two of the 24 crewmembers being rescued. Five families have demanded that the company continue it search efforts, officially ended last week.

Converted cargo carrier Stellar Daisy sank in the Atlantic Ocean about 2,000 nm from the Montevideo, Uruguay. Reports indicate that the ship broke into two following a crack in the hull that permitted water ingress, and this then caused cargo liquefaction and shift. Polaris Shipping has confirmed that another of its vessels, the Stellar Unicorn, found a crack on the outer hull of a tank. A fleet inspection programme has been initiated. Several 1990s-built VLCCs were converted to VLOCs.

Stellar Daisy was a single-deck capesize of 321.95 metres in length. It had a deadweight tonnage of 266,141 tons, with 10 cargo holds. The IMO and Intercargo have both called for a thorough investigation into the loss of the Stellar Daisy.

Korean carrier Meritz Fire & Marine, formerly Oriental Fire & Marine, is the 100% hull insurer of Stellar Daisy, cover valued at $40m, of which $32m was the hull and another $8m was the increased value of total loss. Meritz’s accounts seem to indicate solid reinsurance. For 2014 – the latest annual report available – Meritz said that its insured amounts were “additionally assumed by the Korean Re Reinsurance Company and any remaining amounts not covered by the Korean Re Reinsurance Company are assumed by the Munich Re Insurance Company and other foreign insurance companies.” According to database, 1993-built, 148,431 gt Stellar Daisy is entered for P&I with Steamship Mutual on behalf of owner VP-14 Shipping Inc of Seoul.