Marine Log

April 11, 2006

Red faces at Vietnam yard

There were red faces at Vietnam's Ha Long shipyard last week. They came during the launch last Thursday of the largest vessel thus far built in Vietnam, the 190 m long, 53,000 dwt Florence.

According to the Nhan Dan newspaper, the ship "sank partly when it hit the water" and a crack in the hull was discovered that resulted in water leakage into the hull.

A subsequent report from the state-owned Viet Nam News says that the vessel "slipped off the launching tracks as it was sliding into the water, causing cables to break. The ship hit rocks hard at a depth of 8 m" resulting in the damage.

Viet Nam News says that more than 20 shipyard workers were immediately mobilized to pump water out of the hold while divers worked underwater to make repairs.

When the tide started to come, the vessel was moored and repairs were completed by 10.00 PM Staurday.

The Florence is a 53,000 dwt bulk carrier designed by Denmark's Carl Bro and is the first in a much-publicized series of 16 of these Diamond 53 design vessels ordered in Vietnam by Britain's Graig Group.

Graig CEO Hugh Williams called the launch "another landmark in the development of the Diamond concept" and said "we look forward to the continuation of the series of vessels we are supervising in Vietnam."

Graig said that during the launching "a block tripped and punctured the shell plating over a length of about 1.2 m, leading to some water ingress. Water has now been removed and the vessel has been moored safely at the fitting out berth where construction work is continuing."

There was no structural damage to the vessel and at no time was the vessel at risk.

Williams said: "We believe that Vinashin and Ha Long Shipyard are acting in a professional and responsible manner around this incident and Vinashin expects, subject to dry docking results, the vessel will be delivered as planned."