Russian salvors make progress removing fuel from grounded boxship

The salvors of container ship Rise Shine (IMO 9164550) said that they were making progress on reducing the risk of pollution from the vessel, which went aground near the city of Nakhodka in Russia’s Far East on November 9th.

As of November 16th about 40 tons of diesel fuel had been drained from the Rise Shine.

The work had been made complex by difficult weather conditions. Wave heights reached 1.5 metres with a wind of 11 metres per second.

To provide assistance to the crew from the port of Vladivostok, the rescue vessel Lazurit of the FSBI Morspasluzhba was sent to the Vostok Bay. In addition, the operation was attended by employees of the Vladivostok SAR squad of the Main Directorate of the EMERCOM of Russia in the Primorsky Territory.

Divers from the Lazurit examined the holds and the port side of the ship and found no damage. No fuel leaks or environmental pollution were reported.

The Rise Shone had lost an anchor and drifted ashore near Cape Kozino. The conditions on scene were too rough for a rescue vessel to reach the ship, so the 14 Chinese crewmembers had to be evacuated by a helicopter, with support from a large shoreside team.

“All the 14 Chinese citizens were rescued and are now safe,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin. “No casualties were reported. We would like to extend our gratitude for the rescue operation to the Russian agencies involved.”

Local media reports had indicated that the hull of the Rise Shine had cracked and that small, occasional sheens had been spotted on the starboard side of the vessel. However, the hull remained in one piece, and no large-scale spills have been reported.

On Nov. 13, salvors with the Russian Marine Rescue Service began pumping fuel out of the container ship’s tanks. Over the weekend, they managed to remove about 40 tonnes of petroleum, but they were forced to halt on Monday because of rough weather conditions. Pumping has resumed, and as of Thursday, salvors have removed about 100 tonnes out of a total of 300 tonnes of fuel and lube oil on board the vessel. A pollution containment boom has also been installed around the hull.

An investigation into the cause of the casualty is under way.