Cracks have been found aboard another Polaris Shipping-operated very large ore carrier (VLOC), the 1994-built Stellar Queen, following an inspection of the ship which was conducted in Sao Luis, Brazil.
A representative of Holman Fenwick Willan Singapore LLP, speaking on the authority of the ship’s operator told World Maritime News that “two small cracks” were found on the Stellar Queen’s deck.
The cracks “have been inspected by Port State Control and by Class and repairs are underway,” the representative added.
Featuring 304,850 dwt, the VLOC is currently anchored off the coast of Brazil. According to AIS data provided by MarineTraffic, the vessel is scheduled to start its journey to Changdao in China on June 27.
The discovery was made on the back of the March 31 disappearance of Stellar Daisy, which prompted the South Korean ship operator to launch a special program for immediate inspection of all vessels currently operated.
The 266,100 dwt vessel went missing and is believed to have sunk some 1,700 miles east of the Port of Montevideo, Uruguay. The ship was sailing from the Port of Guaiba, Brazil, to China, carrying 260,003 million tons of iron ore. The 1993-built Stellar Daisy was carrying eight South Korean and sixteen Filipino sailors. Two of the sailors were rescued on April 2.
The ship was converted from a crude carrier to an ore carrier, a process that has been put under spotlight as it is believed that a crack in the ship’s hull caused the splitting in half and sinking of Stellar Daisy.
In mid-April, the company informed that one of the firm’s vessels reported a crack on the outer hull of a tank while it was en route to the discharge port, near Cape Town. The vessel in question is the 1993-built bulk carrier Stellar Unicorn, which was carrying a cargo of 270,000 million tons iron ore bound for China at the time. The ship was also converted from a crude carrier to an ore carrier.
World Maritime News Staff; Image Courtesy: Shipspotting