Stellar Banner refloated

VLOC Stellar Banner (IMO 9726803) has been refloated after being grounded for more than three months off the coast of São Luís, Maranhão state, Brazil.

Polaris Shipping said that “the owner confirms the ship has been re-floated. The owner is liaising closely with the authorities and surveyor. A full assessment of the condition of the vessel will be carried out”.

The ship was reported to have been towed to deeper waters for inspection.

Stellar Banner ran aground on February 24th, subsequently developing a heavy list to starboard. Damage to the bow led to her grounding. The 20 crew members were evacuated safely from the vessel.

Salvage teams led by Ardent and OceanPact removed about 3,500 tons of fuel oil to a receiving vessel. That operation was completed at the end of March.

Salvors then unloaded the ship’s cargo of nearly 300,000 tonnes of Vale’s iron ore, which enabled the ship to right by about 12 degrees, bringing some of its submerged decks from the water.

Brazilian mining company Vale said it had spent close to $1m supporting the shipowner.

2016-built, Marshall Islands-flagged, 151,596 gt Stellar Banner is owned by VP-12 Shipping Inc care of manager Polaris Shipping Co Ltd of Seoul, South Korea. It is entered with Britannia on behalf of VP-12 Shipping Inc.