COUGAR ACE Update: Vessel Safely Moored & Nearly Upright, says Ships Operators

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. reported in a prepared statement, dated August 16, that the MOL-operated car carrier COUGAR ACE, disabled at sea south of the Aleutian Islands on Monday, July 24, has been towed to a calm area in the Bering Sea to ensure the safety of recovery operations. The vessel is now moored at Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands where it has been restored to a nearly upright position, as of August 15th. Mitsui also said that the threat of submergence has been completely eliminated.

Ship’s operator went on to say that measures to secure the cargo, hull, and engine of the vessel would be executed in preparation for towing the vessel to a discharge port. Dewatering operations of the vessel’s number nine deck, now almost complete, had been ongoing for days. As late as August 13, pumping operations were ongoing, but the vessel’s list was still about 18 degrees. The vessel had been severely listing since problems arose during a required open-sea transfer of ballast water on July 23, approximately 230 miles south of Adak.

The cause of the incident is still under investigation. No pollution or debris has been observed during the dewatering operation and the Incident Command Post and Joint Information Center in anchorage has been disbanded.