Grounded Tanker Freed From Port of New York

The 800-foot double-hulled tank ship White Sea, which ran aground the day before, was freed from the Ambrose Channel on the afternoon of Friday, June 13. Three U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) tugs were involved in the refloating operation. In a USCG press release, Coast Guard Sector New York Command Duty Officer, Lt. j.g. Kathryn Campagnini, says of the operation, “This is about as good an ending as you can expect.”

The White Sea is owned by the Singapore-based Tanker Pacific Management and is on a time charter to United Arab Emirates-based Westport Shipping Services. The vessel was en route to Singapore from Bayonne, NJ when it lost steering and ran aground about four miles north of Sandy Hook, NJ, by buoy 14 in the Ambrose shipping channel last Thursday at 6:30 a.m. Two of the ship’s ballast water tanks were breached, but the product compartments containing 556,000 barrels of low sulfur fuel oil remained intact. The grounding did not delay any other vessels from entering or departing the area.

According to the USCG press release, “Three tugs safely pulled the grounded 800-foot tanker ship White Sea from the Ambrose shipping channel's sandy bottom at 6:20 p.m. today during high tide after 121,000 barrels of the 556,000 barrels of low sulfur fuel oil cargo was lightered to Bouchard Barge B-230 earlier today. There were no reports of fuel product in the water. Lightering operations started a little after 2:00 a.m. today and ended shortly after 4:00 p.m. The White Sea proceeded under its own power with 3 tugs assisting it to Stapleton Anchorage, off Staten Island, where it arrived at approximately 8:30 p.m. While at Stapleton, divers will conduct another hull survey.”

The USCG Public Affairs Detachment New York told MarEx yesterday that the cause of the grounding is “still under investigation.” Furthermore, per the USCG press release, “a Captain of the Port Order prohibiting the ship from departing until a satisfactory inspection by the ship's classification society.”