Car Carrier Goes Aground off Busan

Video frame courtesy YouTube / Arirang News

By MarEx 2016-04-18 20:55:11

The 2,800 dwt car carrier Ocean Tango (ex name Asian Ace) went aground in foul weather in Busan, South Korea yesterday, rupturing fuel tanks and releasing fuel oil into the water. Authorities have deployed a containment boom, and some 800 spill response workers and volunteers are attempting to control the pollution. The local weather conditions have hampered the response effort. 

She reportedly has about 100 tons of heavy fuel oil and 10 tons of diesel aboard. Water intake for municipal uses has been suspended in nearby areas, and the spill has interrupted the local fishing economy of divers who retrieve shellfish by hand from the waters off Busan, local media say. 

The Tango is flagged in Korea and owned and operated by Duwon Shipping of Seoul. On April 10, the 1985-built vessel was put up for sale for a working price in the range of $1.5 million. 

Separately, two people have been hospitalized with "moderate injuries" following a fire early Monday aboard the factory trawler Desert Rose, pierside in Lyttelton, Christchurch, NZ. 

Four more were treated for smoke inhalation. All other crew and workers were accounted for. 

The incident is still under investigation but authorities suspect hot work – a grinder or a welder – as the probable cause. A spokeswoman for the local firefighters said that there was a lot of maintenance work going on at the time of the fire. 

The Desert Rose is flagged in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and is owned by local operator Independent Fisheries. Kevin McDonnell, the firm's director, said that the Rose was in port for a refit.