Good News / Bad New for MOL

With good progress being made on the salvage operations of the car carrier Cougar Ace (full details) in Alaska, Mitsui OSK Line is being hit with another major maritime incident.

On August 14th, 2006, the VLCC Bright Artemis loaded with almost 250,000 tons of crude, “suffered the damage on her hull” while rescuing crew from the Singapore flag cargo ship Amar. Amar, a 10,208 cargo ship, was reportedly on fire and was swept into the side of the Bright Artemis. The accident occurred in the Indian Ocean, 290 miles west of the Great Nicobar Island.

The press release from Mitsui OSK Line states that… “At about 1:00 p.m., (3:00 p.m. JST), Amar was swept by a wind wave and struck Bright Artemis. The Bright Artemis has a gash of about 1 meter in height and 5 meters in length on the starboard (approx. 1.7 meters above the water line). The amount of oil spillage from damaged 2 tanks is still under investigation, but is estimated to reach to about 4,500 tons.”

No injuries are reported on the Bright Artemis, whose complement of 23 includes one Canadian seafarer as crew. The Bright Artemis is a single hull VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier), flies the Singapore flag and is managed by MOL Tankship Management (Asia). Mitsui OSK Line is one of the largest tanker operators in the world.

Although the ship and company will be involved in many negative headline-grabbing articles, as oil spills and shipping headlines often go, it is important to remember the great job that they did. They successfully rescued all of the burning Amar’s crew without reported injuries, in obvious peril to their own safety. It is a great tradition and not hard to believe accidents like this do happen in those situations. So kudos to them.

Ship particulars:

Bright Artemis (Ex Vessel Name Cosmo Artemis)
Gross Tons: 146,463 tons
Built: August 1992 by Sasebo Heavy Industries
IMO No 9012252
Engine Maker: Mitsui B&W
Speed: 15.0
Horse power: 29,596
G.R.T. 146,463
Deadweight 258,090
L x B x D 324.00 x 56.00 x 19.52
Seafarers: 23 in total: 4 Croatians (including captain), 1 Canadian, 18 Filipinos

- Martin

Here’s a news clip from Bloomberg (Financial)

Mitsui OSK Shares Fall on Tanker Spilling Crude Oil (Update2)
Aug. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Shares of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd., Japan's second-largest shipping company, fell as much as 4.2 percent after the company said one of its tankers spilled about 4,500 metric tons (33,300 barrels) of oil into the Indian Ocean.

Mitsui O.S.K. shares fell 36 yen to 796 yen and traded at 803 yen as of 2:14 p.m. in Tokyo.

The oil spill occurred after the tanker, named Bright Artemis, collided with a cargo vessel it was trying to help. The cargo vessel, a Singapore-flagged ship called the Amar, was on fire and requesting assistance. When the Mitsui O.S.K. tanker tried to rescue the crew in heavy seas, the two ships collided, Mitsui said in a statement on its Web site.

The tanker, which was carrying 249,997 tons of crude oil for Tokyo-based Cosmo Oil Co., was heading to Japan from Saudi Arabia. There was no report of injuries among the 23 crew members of Bright Artemis, the Tokyo-based shipping line said. The crew on the cargo ship was rescued by another vessel.

The collision occurred between Sri Lanka and Sumatra, Mitsui said. The accident happened yesterday at 1 p.m., local time, at about 290 miles west of Great Nicobar island. The Bright Artemis is moving under its own power, the company said.
``The vessel is moving to the east, where there are facilities to repair ships as the top priority is to avoid spilling more oil,'' said company spokesman Hidenori Onuki. ``After the vessel is fixed, it will head on to Japan.'' He said the company had not yet decided at which port the vessel will be repaired.