The Hong Kong-flagged tanker was carrying an estimated 30,000 tons of a hazardous cargo when it was involved in a collision with a Pure Car and Truck Carrier (PCTC) near the port of Busan in December 2013, subsequently catching fire.
The ship has since been held at sea by tugs with the Japanese and South Korean governments unwilling to give it refuge due to the hazardous nature of its cargo and the severe damage to the hull, despite the risk of a wider environmental disaster if it breaks up and sinks. Poor weather conditions in January and February and prolonged exposure to swells of up to four metres high have complicated matters further and may also have contributed further damage.
Wijendra Peiris, Lloyd’s Register’s Ship Emergency Response Service (SERS) Team Leader, said: “This was quite an unusual situation and multiple teams in LR had to work together to resolve it. Maritime Maisie was a Hong Kong flagged, Singapore owned vessel carrying a hazardous cargo. After it was damaged in Korean waters, the vessel drifted into Japanese waters, its fire raging for well over a week. This, together with poor weather conditions, meant we had to make sure our calculations of the ships condition and recommendations to the owners were as accurate as possible.”
“The vessel wasn’t safe enough for LR surveyors to get on board and properly assess the damage until March, but SERS, Lloyd’s Register Class and LR regional operations teams worked closely with MSI Ship Management throughout the period to keep them informed. The decision to allow Maisie into the port of Ulsan in Korea was welcome, and MSI thanked LR for their support.
David Power, Senior Principal Surveyor in LR’s Classification Group, said: “This was a great opportunity for teams across consultancy services and traditional class services along with LR’s CFO (Client Facing Office) business team to really complement each other and work together to achieve a common goal.”
LR’s response provided a breadth of service that has set a new standard, even supporting the client with media activity – virtually unprecedented for a classification society during such an incident. LR’s global press release described our expert assessment of the ship’s condition at a time when it was far from certain a safe port would be provided. This release made the front page of Lloyd’s List, the leading maritime website, positioning Lloyd’s Register as a technical leader and showing that LR could not only act in a technical capacity but also provide influential public commentary to further support a client’s goals.
This isn’t the end of Lloyd's Register's involvement in the story of Maritime Maisie. Now that she has arrived in port, LR will be involved in overseeing the safe unloading of the cargo, cleaning of the ship and a full assessment of the vessel to see if she can be salvaged. Further assistance for the safe movement to a repair or recycling facility will also be required.
Iain Wilson, LR’s Regional Marine Manager for Asia, said: “This is an excellent example of marine employees across multiple countries and teams pulling together and offering fantastic levels of support to a key client. Individuals from SERS, Class and surveyors in Korea, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong all played a part in helping this vessel get safely to port and should be proud of that achievement.”