The bulk carrier M/V Emerald Star that sank in the Philippine Sea last week, with the loss of 10 crew members, is believed to have been carrying a cargo of nickel ore at the time, the UK Club announced.
However, it is too early to say whether the cargo played any role in the ship’s sinking, the Club added.
Meanwhile, it informed on two cases in which cargoes of nickel ore from Surigao, Philippines have liquefied. In the first case, the crew noticed the ship was developing a list of 2 degrees and took immediate actions to reduce vibration and weather impact by adjusting course and speed.
Upon arrival at the discharge port in China, the cargo in 3 out of 5 cargo holds was found to have liquefied – there were tide marks on both sides of the holds, and the master reported that the cargo had been flowing from side to side like wet cement in synchronism with the ship’s rolling.
The other ship reported liquefaction in at least one of the holds part way through the voyage, and has headed for a port of refuge.
As a result, the Club reminds operators that Group A Cargos of the IMSBC code prove a real and present danger to the stability of the ship if allowed to liquefy as the free surface flow effect will increase the Vertical Centre of Gravity of the ship and can cause the ship to capsize with little or no warning.