Bad weather hampers refloat of stranded bulker

All 21 crew members of the Harvest Sky have been reported to be safe. Credit Gary McLeod

Taiwanese authorities continue to struggle to restart a bulk carrier that has been stranded for four days.

The 2013-built 95,717 dwt Harvest Sky had just discharged a cargo of coal at Taipei Linkou Power Station’s terminal in Linkou when an engine malfunction immobilised it on 14 October.

In a statement, Taiwan’s Maritime Port Bureau said that Koyo Maru, a tug deployed by Nippon Salvage, arrived on the night of 16 October and together with another tug, Keppel Smit Towage's Sky 312, began working to refloat the bulker.

Japan P&I Club, which insures Harvest Sky, has engaged Nippon Salvage to help recover the vessel.

The bureau said, “However, as the waters remain choppy with rough waves, efforts to refloat Harvest Sky have not been successful. We have asked the ship owner to do its best to complete the refloating operations in the next two days.”

Harvest Sky, beneficially owned by Japanese tonnage provider Abo Shoten, is operated by First Marine Service Co, the ship management arm of Daiichi Chuo Kisen Kaisha.

A spokesman for Taiwan’s Maritime Port Bureau told Fairplay that all 21 crew members of Harvest Sky were safe and have stayed on board the stranded vessel.

“The crew members have to stay on the vessel to assist the salvors in the refloating operations,” he said.

As of 1300 h Taipei time on 17 October, Harvest Sky remains stranded.

The spokesman said, “Everyone is doing their best, but the sea conditions are still not in our favour.”

Contact: Xiaolin Zeng

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