Video: Container Ship Goes Aground Off Taiwan

File image courtesy TS Lines

By MarEx 2016-03-10 21:22:39

The Taiwanese container ship TS Taipei went aground off the coast of New Taipei, Taiwan on Thursday; authorities have not yet reported the cause. Her 21 crew were rescued by helicopters of the National Airborne Service Corps. First responders could not approach the vessel by watercraft due to rough conditions. 

Taiwan’s Coast Guard Administration said that the ship was leaking oil, and that they had put down a containment boom, media reported. They did not release the amount of the spill or the quantity of bunkers aboard. 

The Taipei was under way on a coastwise trip from Keelung to Taichung at the time of the grounding, according to her AIS reporting.

The TS Taipei is owned by regional intra-Asia carrier TS Lines, a Hong Kong-based private company with 72,000 TEU of smaller container vessels, mostly chartered. The TS Taipei is one of the company's two owned ships, according to Alphaliner. The firm ordered two more 1,800 TEU ships with Taiwanese state-owned yard CSBC in July, for delivery in 2017, and in December it placed an order for another set of two, reflecting the relative strength of the intra-Asian market.

The cause of the incident and the intended salvage plan have not yet been released. TS Lines was not immediately available for comment. 

Separately, in Taiwan's outlying Penghu Archipelago, the grounded cargo vessel Yunhai has allegedly caused an unknown amount of oil pollution, according to the local Penghu Ocean Citizen Alliance.

The Alliance claimed that there has been little official response since the Yunhai went aground on February 25, and the group hired a boat to inspect her. They found a slick of what they described as diesel fuel but were unable to estimate the volume.

The Penghu Environmental Protection Bureau confirmed that there was some amount of oil pollution from the Yunhai, but suggested that it may have resulted from deck machinery rather than bunkers. Authorities now plan to work with the Yunhai's owners to remove bunkers, and expect that lightering will be completed by next week.