Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Cargo Ready for Transfer from 'Cracked' Ship

29th December 2011
2237 Views
Cargo Ready for Transfer from 'Cracked' Ship

#SHIPPING – Plans to remove the cargo of 54,304 tonnes of Vacuum Gas Oil from the merchant vessel 'Genmar Companion' have now been finalised. The transfer will start on 31 December 2011 (weather permitting).

The vessel has been sheltering off the Copeland Islands at the entrance to Belfast Lough since 16 December. It was 40 miles west of Tory Island, Co. Donegal, on its journey from Rotterdam to New York, when the Master reported a crack on its upper deck. This crack did not appear to extend to any of the oil cargo holding structures but, as a precautionary measure, the vessel's Master chose to seek both shelter and advice before continuing passage.

The Bermudan-flagged product tanker made its way to the Lough to enable surveyors to inspect the ship. The inspection, by the owners, a representative of the classification society (American Bureau of Shipping) and the MCA took place on 18 December.

Following this inspection all parties agreed that, as a precautionary measure, the cargo should be removed and the ship repaired. As there are no shore reception facilities at Belfast Harbour for a tanker of this size the only option is to transfer the cargo to another vessel (known as Ship To Ship Transfer).

Preparations for this transfer have been underway for several days and stringent safeguards will be observed throughout the operation to assure the safety of the crew, the environment and other vessels in the area.

Following the transfer of the cargo to the vessel 'BW Seine' the 'Genmar Companion' will enter Belfast Harbour for repairs.

Hugh Shaw, The Secretary of State's Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention said:

"Since the 'Genmar Companion' arrived at Belfast Lough I have been working closely with a number of parties including representatives from the Owners and Charterers, Belfast Harbour and the Northern Ireland Environment Group chaired by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

"We are all agreed that transferring the cargo in the Lough is the most sensible course of action. Although this is a fairly routine operation, it would not normally be carried out in the current location.

"This ship to ship transfer will be carried out by Fendercare Marine and the process is expected to take approximately 24-36 hours."

Northern Ireland Environment Minister, Alex Attwood, has been keeping a close eye on the situation.  He said

"I have been actively seeking reassurance that there is no threat to our marine environment from this tanker. My officials will be fully engaged with the MCA and the Secretary of State's Representative until the Genmar Companion is safely moored in Belfast for repairs."

Published in Coastguard
Afloat.ie Team

About The Author

Afloat.ie Team

Email The Author

Afloat.ie is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

mgm sidebutton
bjmarine sidebutton
xyachts sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

tokyo sidebutton
sovscup sidebutton
vdlr sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating