The 2013-built 95,717 dwt Harvest Sky has been towed to safe waters but no damage or leaks were reported. Credit: Maritime Port Bureau.
Salvors have finally managed to restart the bulk carrier Harvest Sky, nearly a week after the vessel became stranded in Taiwanese waters.
A statement from Taiwan's Maritime Port Bureau said that at 23:00 h Taipei time on 20 October, the Koyo Maru, a 10,000 bhp tug deployed by Nippon Salvage, succeeded in towing Harvest Sky.
The salvage operations were hampered by rough seas most of the time. The 2013-built 95,717 dwt Harvest Skyhad just discharged coal at Taipei Linkou Power Station's terminal in Linkou when it stalled in waters near Taoyuan after engine malfunction.
Its 21 crew members were unhurt and stayed on board to assist in the salvage operations.
The Panama-flagged Harvest Sky is owned by Japanese tonnage provider Abo Shoten and operated by Daiichi Chuo Kisen Kaisha's ship management arm First Marine Service.
There was neither damage to the vessel nor oil leaks.
The Maritime Port Bureau said, “The waves were very strong and high due to the recent spate of typhoons. This made the salvage operations difficult and dangerous.”
On 18 October, nine crew members on board Keppel Smit Towage's Sky 312, another tug deployed to the operations, had to be rescued when the tug twisted its cable and lost power.
Subsequently, the salvors and rescue personnel tried using rocket launchers, buoys, amphibious motorcycles, and lifeboats to stabilise the Harvest Sky, but to no avail.
Finally, on 20 October, the bucket method was used to tow the Harvest Sky and, with Koyo Maru, the stricken bulker was moved to a safe area.
On the morning of 21 October, Maritime Port Bureau's director-general, David Hsieh Wei-chun and two deputies visited the salvage site, and to be briefed about the safety conditions in the area.
Hsieh also thanked all those involved in the salvage operations. Following inspections, the Harvest Sky was deemed seaworthy and is now en route to Kaohsiung.