CRIMSON Polaris, a dedicated woodchip carrier operated by NYK, ran aground off Hachinohe, Japan, on Wednesday morning (Japan time). All 21 crew are reported safe.

Reuters reports a crack developed in the hull and oil began leaking. A slick 5.1 kilometres long by 1 kilometre wide was visible Thursday morning. Japan Coast Guard said containment measures were being taken.

A statement from NYK said the vessel was “swept away by a strong wind while anchored and resultantly ran aground”.

The ship was evacuated of all crew with the help of the Japan Coast Guard. There were no injuries reported among the crew and no oil pollution has been reported.

The company said a portion of the ship’s cargo was lost through a damaged part of the hull, although at the time of writing, it is unclear how much cargo was lost.

NYK said it had organised a crisis-management centre, led by NYK president Hitoshi Nagasawa to address the situation.

The company said it is co-operating with related parties based on advice from the Japan Coast Guard.

“We hope the situation will be bought to a safe and timely conclusion,” the company said.

Crimson Polaris is owned by MI-DAS Line and it is managed by Misuga Kaiun. NYK is the ship’s current charterer.

The Panama-flagged ship is 200 metres long, with a breadth of 32 metres. It was built in 2008 and its gross tonnage is 39,910 tonnes.

NYK said there were 21 crew onboard.

A Japanese news report on the incident