Wood-chip carrier runs aground off Japan, hull splits in two and oil spill ensues

Wood chip carrier Crimson Polaris (IMO 9370783) ran aground off Hachinohe in Aomori prefecture, Japan, at around 07:35 am local time on August 11th after being swept away by a strong wind while anchored.

The hull of the 199-metre vessel then split in two at 04:15 on August 12th, causing oil to spill from the vessel into the ocean, charterer NYK has said.

There were eight Chinese and 13 Filipino crew members on board, all of whom the Japan Coast Guard safely evacuated by helicopter before the vessel broke up.

The JSC had initially reported that the vessel, which had encountered a steering problem, was not in danger.

The airlift began at about 14:00 on August 11th and it took about five hours to ferry the crew to shore. Some of the wood chip cargo had leaked from the vessel due to damage to the hull.

Crimson Polaris broke in two just forward of the deckhouse approximately 2.5 miles off the coast. Oil containment efforts are underway.

NYK has organized a crisis management centre, led by NYK president Hitoshi Nagasawa, to address the situation. It said that it was cooperating with stakeholders based on advice from the Japan Coast Guard. Company personnel have been sent to the site.

The vessel is owned by MI-DAS Line S.A. and managed by Misuga Kaiun and is on charter to NYK.

Crimson Polaris has a deadweight of 49,549 tonnes.

2008-built, 29,910 gt Crimson Polaris is owned by Mi-Das Line SA care of Dorian LPG Management Corp of Athens, Greece. It is managed by NYK Line of Tokyo, Japan. ISM manager is Misuga Kaiun Co of Shikokuchuo-shi, Ehime-ken, Japan. It is entered with Japan Club (Imabari Office in charge) on behalf of Mi-Das Lone SA.

Earlier film of evacuation of ship by helicopter here: