MARITIME NZ has lifted a detention order imposed on the containership Shiling. The vessel was due to sail for Singapore on Friday 7 July.

Shiling’s departure follows a detention in Wellington after the ship lost power and steering almost two months ago.

Following repair works in CentrePort Wellington, the Singapore-flagged ship began harbour trials in late June and a more rigorous sea trial outside Wellington waters.

Maritime NZ said Shiling has satisfied the imposed conditions, but it will be escorted out of New Zealand (200 nautical miles off the coast) by MMA Vision – a vessel capable of emergency towage.

Deb Despard, deputy chief executive, regulatory operations at Maritime NZ, said the escort would provide an extra layer of protection to keep the crew safe.

“Maritime NZ wants to assure people in New Zealand, we have taken this vessel’s issues very seriously,” Ms Despard said.

She said the trails showed the vessel could satisfy the requirements to be released from detention.

“These started with testing the engine alongside the berth at CentrePort, then progressing to harbour trials and finally an open sea trial south of Wellington, with a tug escort throughout.”

The trials were overseen by the vessel’s classification society and an overseas technician for the main engine manufacturer.

“These played a key role in checking the vessel for issues and reassuring us (Maritime NZ) and other parties involved that the vessel has satisfied the conditions previously imposed, and can undertake the journey to Singapore,” Ms Despard said.

She said Maritime NZ, its counterpart in Singapore, the Wellington harbour master, CentrePort, towage providers, insurers and owners of the vessel had all been involved in the Shilling situation since it broke down in May.

Maritime NZ intends to continue to monitor Shiling’s movements out of New Zealand waters.

The vessel’s flag state (Singapore) has ordered it travel directly to Singapore.