Video: Domestic Japanese Car Carrier Abandoned After Grounding

car carrier listing
Suou was abandoned after ground and beginning to take on water (Matsuyama Coast Guard)

Published Nov 22, 2023 1:36 PM by The Maritime Executive


The Japanese Coast Guard and Japan Transport Safety Board are both investigating why a domestic car carrier grounded and was in danger of floundering while traveling in calm sea and clear weather. The car carrier Suou (6,100) dwt was traveling in a busy sea lane when the incident occurred.

The car carrier, which was built in 2019 and is 590 feet in length, had loaded approximately 100 cars in southern Japan departing Hakata Port on November 20 and was bound for Iwakuni Port but touched bottom around 1:00 a.m. on November 21 near Matsuyama. 

The vessel was taking on a severe list to starboard and the captain ordered the 12 crew into the life raft. The Matsuyama branch of the Coast Guard rescued the crew about 90 minutes later without incident.




The car carrier continued to drift traveling about five miles before salvage crews were able to secure the vessel midday on November 21. They towed the vessel to Kodomari Bay and the intention was to strand it in shallow water to prevent it from sinking. An oil boom was placed as a precaution but the Coast Guard is reporting that there has been no oil leak.

The Coast Guard believes the vessel hit a rock about a third of a mile from Nuwa Island which is in sheltered waters between two of Japan’s main islands between Hiroshima and Matsuyama. Media reports are that they are investigating dangerous or negligent navigation.