Authorities in Japan and South Korea are being asked to provide a port of refuge for a chemical tanker ravaged by fire.
The 44,404-dwt Maritime Maisie (built 2003) collided with the car carrier newbuilding Gravity Highway off Busan on 29 December sparking a major blaze.
MSI Ship Management report that the fire on board the Aurora Tankers’ vessel was extinguished on Thursday after 19 days.
“Although the fire had been extinguished, it is now very crucial and important that the tanker is granted a place of shelter or port of refuge in order for the safe transfer of the remaining cargo and bunkers,” MSI said in a statement.
“The firefighting efforts were hampered by the difficult weather conditions where the waves were sometimes up to 3 metres high.
“As a result, the salvor could not carry out the fire fighting effectively and had to stop from time to time as it was too dangerous.”
MSI said it has appealed to the Korean and Japanese jurisdictions to consider this request urgently as the tanker is still in distress and it continues to be exposed to the changing rough sea conditions.
During the rescue and firefighting operations the ship has found itself in both South Korean and Japanese jurisdictions.
The Korean Coast Guard initially evacuated all the 27 crew members and fought the fire while the ship was in Korean waters.
However, because of the sea conditions and strong currents, the tanker has ended up in the Japanese waters.
The tanker was carrying about 29,000t of chemicals comprising paraxylene, styrene and acrylonitrile when it was struck.
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