Vale SA, a Brazilian mining company, revealed that the iron ore weighing 260,000 tons that was being transported by the ill-fated bulk carrier owned by a shipping company based in South Korea, had been insured. The ship, Stellar Daisy, belonged to Polaris Shipping and sank in route to China off the coast of Uruguay in an area south of the Atlantic. The Brazilian miner also confirmed that stowing of the ship had been done according to international norms. The iron ore that the ship was carrying was being taken to China both for blending and storage.
Search and rescue efforts
Meanwhile, the search for the ship, which had 24 crew members aboard continues. The crew on the Stellar Daisy were of mixed nationalities with eight of them being South Koreans and 16 of them being Filipinos. So far 22 crew members are yet to be accounted for. Two of those who have already been accounted for were found on a life raft floating a day after the ship last made contact. The two were Filipinos.
The last time Stellar Daisy established contact was on Friday. While the exact location in which the bulk carrier, size equivalent to about 100 tennis courts sank is not known, it is believed to have been about 2,500 kilometers from the shore.
The sinking of the ship was communicated by some of the crew members who sent a text message to Polaris Shipping revealing that the Stellar Daisy was leaking water. This was according to an account given by the foreign ministry of South Korea.
Brazilian Navy destroyer
The Brazilian government was the first to respond when it sent an aircraft from the country’s Air Force to comb the area where the ship is believed to have sunk in. This was an area measuring a radius of about 500 kilometers and it included the scene where the two crew members of Filipino origin had been found. However, the would-be rescuers were only able to detect debris and fuel that is thought to have originated from the Stellar Daisy. There were no other crew members who were found.
In the meantime, search and rescue efforts will continue with the Brazilian government revealing that it will be sending the country’s Navy destroyer as well as merchant ships belonging to Polaris Shipping. The Brazilian destroyer will have on board a rescue helicopter and is expected to arrive at the scene on Tuesday. Polaris’ Shipping’s vessels will also arrive on the same day.