Following the giant VLOC “Stella Banner’s” grounding on February 24, the 300.000 DWT vessel was intentionally sunk on Friday approximately 150km from Maranhão.
For the records, Stella Banner had ran aground off São Luís on February 24, leaving Vale’s Ponta da Madeira Maritime Terminal with iron ore bound for China. All 20 crew members had evacuated in good condition.
In fact, the vessel was carrying 306 thousand tons of iron ore and was headed for Qingdao, China.
Earlier this month salvors in Brazil managed to refloat Stellar Banner over three months after the VLOC ran aground, as they successfully removed 145.000 tonnes of iron ore.
In light of the above, it was decided to sink the vessel in deeper waters with any remaining iron ore onboard, as authorities considered that the remaining iron ore doesn’t pose a threat to the marine environment.
Concluding, responsible for the salvage operation was the Dutch salvage SMIT Salvage and the Brazilian Navy.