Grounded Oil Tanker has Crack in Hull: No need to worry, say authorities

An oil tanker that ran aground on the north coast of Taiwan, on the morning of December 1, has a crack in the hull, and is taking water, according to Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA).

The vessel Kang Yun, carrying 20,000 kiloliters of Aviation fuel, as well as diesel and heavy oil ran aground at around 9:00am, Thursday morning (Taiwan time: GMT+8). Harbor authorities on Thursday assured the public that there was nothing to worry about, and that tugs would tow the ship off the shore at the next high tide, due around 3:00pm that afternoon.

Two tugs were dispatched Thursday, but attempts to move the ship failed. Lines from one of the tugs snapped.

Six tugs attempted to move the 44,407 ton ship on Friday, but again failed.

Chinese language media reports Thursday morning including this Liberty Times Network Breaking News report said the tanker had suffered mechanical failure while attempting to enter Shenao Harbor. As a result, the stern of the ship had hit bottom.

Other reports, including this United Daily News report published Thursday December 1, say the accident was caused by a mis-judgement about water depth and tide. The following day, the same newspaper said the ship had suffered a mechanical failure that prevented its ability to reverse, and that the problem had been repaired Friday.

Harbor authorities, and New Taipei City EPA officials assured the public that there was little danger of an oil spill, as the ship’s stern was sitting on a sandy bottom. Accordingly, there was little chance of a break-up, as happened earlier this year when a T.S. Lines freighter ran aground and split in half on a rocky shore on the coast near Shimen Township, New Taipei City.

Despite evidence of the hull breach, authorities assured the public that there is little chance of an oil spill from the double-hulled vessel. They say another attempt will be made tomorrow, Saturday, and if that fails, they will attempt to unload the fuel ship-to-ship.

The Kang Yun, built in 1992, belongs to Taiwan’s state-owned CPC Corporation.

Picture of the Kang Yun oil tanker emitting thick, black smoke after grounding Thursday, December 1, 2016
This picture of the oil-tanker Kang Yun, emitting thick, black smoke was taken shortly after it grounded Thursday morning. The picture was submitted by a reader to the Apple Daily website.
the grounded oil tanker Kang Yun
The oil tanker Kang Yun, aground on Taiwan’s north coast. Photo: United Daily News
The Kang-yun oil carrier stuck in New Taipei City, December 3 ,2016.
“I’ve never seen a ship so close to Binhai Road, so I had to take a look” said a woman who pulled up on a scooter near Shen-ao Harbor, today, December 3, 2016. Photo: United Daily News.
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