A Suezmax tanker waiting at anchor to discharge a bitumen mix cargo at the Chinese port of Qingdao was struck on the morning of Tuesday 27 April 2021 by a dry bulk carrier, causing a spill of the cargo in the China Sea
29 April, 2021
Goodwood Ship Management, managers of the A Symphony tanker vessel that had its hull ruptured after being struck by the vessel in reportedly foggy conditions in the port of Qingdao said China’s Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) had given the go ahead for unloading of the vessel’s cargo of bitumen.
The MSA "has cleared the damaged ship to begin lightering operations for discharge of its cargo in Qingdao. It is expected that lighterage will commence [30 April]," a statement from Goodwood said.
Goodwood said that local oil spill response experts had been "activated under an MSA approved plan to contain the spilt bitumen mix and begin the cleanup operation".
"Goodwood Ship Management, our Oil Spill Response contractors, P&I Club and Flag continue to work with the MSA who are coordinating the cleanup operation efforts and the investigation into the cause of the incident," the shipmanagement group said.
28 April, 2021
Authorities are investigating how 2005-built, 32,500-dwt multi-purpose vessel Sea Justice collided with 2001-built, 150,500-dwt A Symphony, which according to local reports, was at anchor 18 km off the port. Sea Justice is also now at anchor off Qingdao.
Meanwhile, A Symphony, which was carrying a cargo of bitumen mix, has spilt around 500 tonnes of the cargo from at least one hold, and is also reported to have sustained damaged to one or more ballast tanks.
Local authorities were quick to activate anti-pollution measures to contain the spill, with a 16-km exclusion zone and 12 vessels involved in the clean up.
Both vessels are now stable and the pollution experts have been sent to the scene to supervise the clean up of the bitumen mix cargo.
The manager of A Symphony, Goodwood Ship Management has issued the following statement:
"Goodwood Ship Management, managers of the tanker vessel A SYMPHONY (IMO # 9249324, Liberia Flag), report that whilst at anchor at Qingdao Anchorage, China, the ship was struck by the Bulk Carrier Sea Justice on April 27 around 0850 local time.
The force of the impact on the forward port side caused a breach in cargo tanks and ballast tanks, with a quantity of oil lost into the ocean.
There were no injuries to the crew.
Immediately after the allision occurred, the Master initiated emergency procedures onboard, mobilising the vessels oil spill response team and initiating an internal transfer to limit the loss of product.
The incident was reported to China MSA and the local authorities.
Local oil spill response experts were activated and deployed assets to contain the spilt oil and begin the clean-up operation, those efforts are ongoing.
The ports closure due to zero visibility did hamper these efforts.
The vessels P&I representatives and Flag were notified of the incident, and the A Symphony remains at anchor awaiting inspection from the relevant parties.
More information will be provided when it becomes available."
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