The 'Souhou Maru' (499 gt, built 2014), ran aground onto the shallows at Chiba port in position 35 36 57 N, 139 57 48 E on Dec 4, 2019, at 4.30 p.m. It was refloated on Dec 5 short past midnight without significant damage.
The salvage plan for the 'Blue Star' which was developed by Smit Salvage was not without risks. In the operation the towing capacity of the tugs, a minimum of 350 tons, will be combined with the improvement of the buoyancy and depend on the tides and the swell which could facilitate the operation. However, it was feared that the damage to the hull will increase with the consequence that water would enter and buoyancy would be lost. 14 of the 18 ballast tanks were breached. In addition, the sludge tank was also damaged. 11 of the tanks were damaged on Nov 26, four days after the grounding. Four others suffered cracks as of Nov 28. The rock bed also worries the experts of the Dutch company, and they did not hide that there was risk that the Hull will break before or during the salvage operation. As the engine room remained intact, submersible bilge pumps were installed in it to prevent flooding, as it was crucial that it is fully operational to reduce any water ingress. The cargo tanks that were above the double bottom of the ship have also been sealed, with the aim of not losing buoyancy if the outer hull of the 'Blue Star' gets further damaged. The water in the ballast tanks will be removed by injecting compressed air, an operation that will be carried out when the two tugs, the 'Union Princess' and the 'Boka Pegasus' have been connected to two reinforcement points iat n the stern, both with 200 tons of draft. Once buoyancy was gained by removing excess water, the tugs would start pulling the tanker to try to refloat it. In principle, the operations will be carried out only by day, so the estimated duration of the preparations for the refloating was calculated to be seven days, so the first attempt cannot come before Dec 10. However, they prevent the circumstances from changing and forcing the modification of the plan, which would also be subject to the requirements of the Spanish Maritime Administration. The bad weather may also delay the operation, although just enough is required to create waves to support the towage. Other possible delays may concern the arrival of the necessary material that depends on third companies. Spanish report with photo: https://www.lavozdegalicia.es/noticia/galicia/2019/12/06/blue-star-presenta-vias-agua-15-tanques-teme-remolque-provoque-danos/0003_201912G6P11991.htm
The owner of the 'Nordana Sophie' has dispatched two vessels to the position where the vessel sank. One has been moored to monitor the area while the other vessel was transporting divers to access the vessel and to clean up the oil spill. More than three kilometers of coastline in the Ky Loi commune (Ky Anh town) have been covered with oil deposits and debris after the ship sank with 178 tons of oil on board near Son Duong port.
On Dec 3, 2019, at 7.10 a.m. the 'Chalakarn' rescued the crew of three of the bunker tanker 'Golden Bridge 2' which had been hit by waves at 5.45 a.m. and suffered water ingress in the aft. After a generator failure the tanker sank in the Sriracha Sea two miles from Bangkok. The bow was still protruding from the water. The castaways were taken to Bangkok. 20 tons of the 104 tons bunker fuel spilled off the Chao Praya River and drifted westwards 15 kilometers off Si Chang island in the Chonburi Province. The Royal Thai Navy took anti pollution measures. The drift was monitored by Sentinel 2A-satellite. It threatened the coasts of Si Chang, Phetchaburi and Bangkok. Thai reports with photos and video: https://www.pptvhd36.com/news/%E0%B8%9B%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%B0%E0%B9%80%E0%B8%94%E0%B9%87%E0%B8%99%E0%B8%A3%E0%B9%89%E0%B8%AD%E0%B8%99/115192 https://aec-tv-online2.com/?p=391011 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XW_-9xLphsc
The 'Glovis Maestro', coming from Alexandria, suffered auxiliary engine problems on Dec 4, 2019. The ship was subsequently towed to Gibraltar and berthed at the Detached Mole, where ot was currently undergoing repairs.