Oil Tanker Safe: Thanks to Japanese Horsepower.

Photo: Taiwan Coastguard.

The 40,407 gross ton oil tanker Kang-yun, carrying 20,000 kiloliters of aviation fuel, along with heavy oil, and diesel fuel was dragged off the seabed today, after being grounded since December 1, 2016.

The CNPC tanker Kang Yun ran aground Thursday morning, due to a combination of mechanical failure and bad weather, according to various reports in Taiwan’s Chinese language media.

On Thursday, harbor officials downplayed the seriousness of the incident and assured the public that the ship would be re-floated at the next high tide due that afternoon. Two tugboats from Shen-ao Harbor were dispatched to facilitate the plan.

The plan failed.

Cables used by the tugs snapped, and harbor authorities blamed bad weather.

The following day, the two tugs from Shen-ao Harbor were joined by tugboats from Keelung Harbor. A total of six tugs were used to attempt to drag the stranded oil carrier on Friday, December 2.

Authorities kept assuring the public that there was no danger of an oil-spill, as the ship was sitting on a sandy bottom. They said that the fuel would be removed by ship to ship operations if the Kang Yun couldn’t be moved on Saturday, December 3.

Today, the six tugboats dispatched by ports in northern Taiwan were joined by a vessel from Japan that boasts 10,000 horsepower. With assistance of the Japanese tug, the Kang Yun was successfully dragged off the shallow bottom, and is now safe in port.

The Koyo Maru is not just a tugboat. It is classed as a salvage and rescue vessel. Built in 1998, Koyo Maru’s home port is Tokyo, and it has assisted in rescue and salvage operations in Japan, Russia, Korea, and Taiwan, including after typhoons, tsunamis, and non-natural disasters as witnessed this week.

The Koyo Maru salvage and rescue vessel
The Koyo Maru is not just a tugboat: It’s a 10,000 horsepower salvage and rescue vessel. If the Koyo Maru can’t move it, it’s stuck.

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