Video: Vietnam Refloats Bulker Stranded for Three Weeks

bulker aground
Nermut Bay was stranded for three weeks and required offloading a portion of its cargo to refloat (VN Navy)

Published Jul 13, 2023 3:28 PM by The Maritime Executive

Vietnam is reporting that it was able to successfully refloat today a Panama-registered bulker that had been stranded off the southeast coast for the past three weeks. The complex operation required lightering the vessel after previous attempts to refloat the vessel failed.

The Japanese-owned bulker Nemrut Bay went aground on June 21 inbound to Vietnam. It had departed Manila in the Philippines four days earlier loaded with 25,510 tons of steel coils. The vessel, which was built in 2019 is 34,400 dwt and 590 feet in length. It is owned by Japan’s Nissen Kaium and operated by Hong Kong-based Pacific Basin Shipping.

The bulker was due to arrive in Vung Tau on June 21, but at 9:45 a.m. that morning it became stranded on a shoal comprised o coral, sand, and limestone. It was approximately 10 nautical miles southeast of the La Gi estuary in the Binh Thuan region north of Ho Chi Minh City.

Divers inspected the hull and reported no apparent signs of damage but efforts were unable to refloat the vessel under its own power. The operators hired a local Vietnamese salvage company, Tan Cang Marine Services, which working with the Navy began the salvage operation on July 8. 



Tugs were positioned alongside the vessel to ensure that it did not shift and they placed a smaller cargo ship alongside. The offloading process began aiming to remove approximately 3,800 tons of the steel cargo. The vessel also has over 850 tons of fuel oil aboard, and they have reported no leaks.

This morning, July 13, just after 5:30 a.m. local time the tugs were able to pull the Nemrut Bay free after three weeks on the shoal. Divers are again inspecting the hull looking for any further damage and they were planning to ship the bulker to the port at Vung Tau. 

The crew of 20 remained aboard the vessel throughout the incident and are reported to be uninjured.