The Crimson Polaris wood-chip carrier that ran aground and split up off Japan Thursday, spilling oil into the ocean, carried about 1,550 MT of heavy oil and about 130 MT of diesel oil for fuel at the time of the grounding, NYK, the charterer of the ship, said Friday.

As previously reported, the 199.9-meter vessel, chartered by NYK from MI-DAS Line ran aground off Hachinohe on August 11. On August 12 at 4:15 a.m. the vessel’s hull split into two pieces and began spilling oil.

“We are continuing our efforts to control the oil spill and monitor the split hull […] As of August 11, when the vessel ran aground, the ship had about 1,550 MT of heavy oil and about 130 MT of diesel oil for fuel. The amount of oil that has been spilled into the ocean has not been identified,” NYK said.

“The Maritime Disaster Prevention Center is continuing to control the oil spill using oil-treatment agents and adsorption mats. In addition, as soon as oil is confirmed to have drifted to the coast, oil recovery companies are prepared to perform beach cleaning,” NYK said.

NYK said that a crack that first occurred between the No. 5 cargo hold and the No. 6 cargo hold at the rear of the 2008-built vessel had worsened, and the hull eventually split into two. 

“The bow is floating and held by an anchor chain, and the stern appears to have become stranded on the seabed. The shipowner and ship-management company are currently in discussions with relevant authorities and salvage companies concerning towing and treatment of the separated hull, with the prevention of environmental pollution being given the highest priority. We are carefully monitoring the situation,” NYK said.

The charterer further said that the cause of the accident was “currently being confirmed, and investigative authorities are conducting an interview with the vessel captain.”

“NYK has organized a crisis management center led by NYK president Hitoshi Nagasawa to rapidly address the situation. Company personnel have been sent to the site, and necessary support will be provided to the shipowner and ship-management company. We hope the situation will be bought to a safe and timely conclusion,” NYK said.

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