VIDEO: Brazilian Navy supervises scuttling of giant ore carrier

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Giant clouds of red dust from residual iron ore cargo billowed from ship as it went under

Within days of being refloated by salvors, a 2016-built, 300,800 dwt ore carrier has been declared a constructive total loss (CTL), towed to deep water and sunk under supervision of the Brazilian Navy.

The incident began on February 24 when the vessel, the Stellar Banner, owned by Korea’s Polaris Shipping incurred bow damage during her departure from the Vale-operated Ponta da Madeira Maritime Terminal in Maranhão. Her 20 crew members were evacuated safely and the captain grounded the vessel, which took on a heavy list but did not sink.

In subsequent cargo removal operations, salvors removed approximately 145 thousand tons of iron ore and refloated the vessel.

After studying reports from the owners on structural inspections carried out by class with support from divers and ROVs, the Brazilian Navy agreed that the ship be scuttled in deep water about 150 kilometers off the coast of Maranhão. According to the Navy, the amount of cargo remaining on board did not pose an environmental risk.

The AHTS Bear, OSRV (Oil Spill Response Vessel) Água Marinha, the OSV Normand Installer and the patrol ship Guanabara monitored the operation and remained on scene subsequently.

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