The South Korean Coast Guard has raided the offices of Polaris Shipping, the operator of the Stellar Daisy which sank in the Atlantic Ocean with 24 crew members on board. Only two crewmembers were rescued, the rest are presumed dead.
The raid took place on Thursday, May 25, and involved Polaris' offices in Seoul and Busan. Investigators are looking to determine the cause of the sinking of the converted VLOC and the alleged “slow reaction” to the distress calls sent from the ship.
Initial findings indicate that the vessel, built in 1993, cracked and split in half. A few days after the March 31 incident, Polaris Shipping confirmed that another of its vessels, Stellar Unicorn, had a crack on the outer hull. Cracks have also been found on the Polaris-operated Stellar Queen, and the company has launched a fleet-wide inspection program.
Polaris has reached a compensation agreement with the families of most missing crew members.
Stellar Daisy was a single-deck capesize very large ore carrier (VLOC) with an overall length of 321.95 meters (1,056 feet). Fully laden, the vessel drew 20.326 meters (66 feet) of water and had a deadweight tonnage of 266,141 tons. She had 10 cargo holds.
The IMO and Intercargo have both called for a thorough investigation so that future casualties can be prevented.