Thursday 20th Sep, 2018

Huge seas shatter Kea Trader

Photo: Lomar Shipping
Photo: Lomar Shipping

VIOLENT six-metre waves have contributed to the vessel Kea Trader breaking in two over the weekend.

Kea Trader (IMO 9701281), a Maltese-flagged 2194 teu capacity box ship, grounded off New Caledonia in early July while on a voyage from Papeete, in French Polynesia.

According to Lomar Shipping, months of continual pounding by the sea and the stress of sitting hard aground a flat rock reef resulted in the ship fracturing vertically.

“Damage to the vessel has increased with every month that she has been hard aground,” a Lomar spokesman said.

“A noticeable buckling in the hull side developed following an unsuccessful re-floating attempt at the beginning of October, along with other clear damage to the bottom of the vessel.

“Whilst this has all been closely monitored and assessed by specialist structural engineers, a heavy storm at the weekend added substantial additional stress and caused the ship to split into two.”

The spokesman said they “remain committed” to removing the vessel while also ensuring the protection of the marine environment.

The wrecked vessel is being monitored by two tugs, along with specialist anti-pollution contractors.

Work to remove vessel’s remaining containers has been on-going, with 108 still on board of the original 756.

The latest bad weather has hampered further recovery.

Kea Trader was delivered in January 2017 at the Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard in China.

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