AN AFRAMAX tanker, Densa Whale, was on Tuesday evening being towed to port after reporting engine trouble.

It was sailing from Kalamu (Congo) to Brisbane and was fully loaded at the time when it experienced difficulties off the New South Wales south coast.

Densa Whale (IMO 9601223) is flagged in the Marshall Islands and was launched in 2012, according to


A spokesman for tug company Smit Lamnalco said the tug SL Martinique was dispatched early Tuesday morning and was on scene mid-afternoon.

The ship was towed further from the coast overnight in difficult conditions with four to five-metre swells and high winds.

Another tug, SL Diamantina, was yesterday standing by to assist in Port Jackson but had not yet been deployed.

“We are in constant communication with owners and insurers,” he said.

At the time of publication, the vessel remained off the Illawarra region.