It has been a rough week for COSCO Shipping as it was challenged by a disabled crude carrier, containers swept on to beaches, a container ship fire and double vessel grounding
Tugs were deployed to rescue its ships three times since 25 May, again demonstrating their importance to shipping in emergencies.
Off South Africa, a COSCO-operated VLCC tanker required emergency towage after a mechanical breakdown left it stranded in rough seas. Crude carrier Yuan Hua Hu required assistance on 25 May while en route from Singapore to oil export facilities in Angola under ballast.
Salvage tug Smit Siyanda assisted the 2015-built VLCC and was on standby as an oceangoing tug was deployed from Cape Town. Fleetmon reported Yuan Hua Hu was towed to Port St Johns, South Africa, and anchored on 27 May. The latest AIS information shows it is sailing to Angola.
In those same rough seas and weather, container ship COSCO Sao Paulo experienced heavy roll and is thought to have lost some of its containers. The 2013-built container ship also suffered a fire in one of its cargo holds on 25 May. It was anchored outside Durban awaiting inspection of fire damage and cargo losses.
In another rough weather accident, five COSCO containers were beached on the coast of New South Wales, Australia.
These came from (non-COSCO-operated) container ship APL England, which lost more than 40 containers in adverse weather, 121 km southeast of Sydney, Australia.
Debris from the incident has closed beaches as cargo, including whole containers and medical masks, started to be swept ashore. AMSA said APL England experienced a temporary loss of propulsion. It was struck by a large swell and started rolling heavily, causing container stacks to collapse and 40 containers to fall overboard. APL England was en route from Shanghai to Melbourne, but was forced to head to Brisbane.
In South America, the same COSCO-operated bulk carrier grounded twice in consecutive days in the Parana River.
COFCO 1 required tug assistance to on 26 May when it ran aground upstream from San Martin port, shortly after unmooring at Timbues port, Argentina.
After an inspection for damage, COFCO 1 was loaded with 41,900 tonnes of soybean at Timbues and started its route out of the river system and into the South Atlantic, destined for Denmark.
However, on 27 May, COFCO 1 grounded again in Parana river, this time in the San Pedro area. It was obstructing navigation, although not blocking the shipping lane. A salvage team, including a tug, was deployed to refloat the bulk carrier. The Parana river is dangerous for shipping at present due to an unusual drop in water levels.
Another bulk carrier needed salvage tug assistance after it grounded in the river because of the severe fall in river levels.
MSXT Artemis grounded at Rosario, Argentina, on 16 May. The 2019-built ship was stuck until 22 May when it was refloated and towed to anchorage for inspection.
Riviera will host a week of free to attend 45-minute webinars focused on maritime air pollution commencing 26 May. Register your interest now