Saturday, February 01, 2014
CONTINUING SAGA OF THE SANKO MINERAL
One hundred and forty days later, she's still here and it's been a fascinating exercise - akin to a detective investigation - unravelling the strange story behind this extended stay in UK waters.
The Sanko Steamship Company - one of Japan's largest shipping companies - sought bankruptcy protection in July 2012. The previous month, the company owned sixteen ships outright but operated some 140 vessels on charter from other owners.
Earnings for cargo ship charter have collapsed since the 2008 financial crisis and Sanko found themselves in a position whereby fees to ship owners outweighed the income they could earn.
Some of Sanko's creditors attempted to recover unpaid charter fees by trying to seize the Sanko Mineral when she called at the US Port of Baltimore on May 8th 2012. She remained there for three months before being released on August 7th.
The same month, the Sanko Mineral allegedly was in collision with a moored barge in the Mississippi River during Hurricane Isaac in August 2012. The owners of the barge sought compensation.
The ship managed to evade internment by the US authorities and now she lies off Maidencombe in limbo.
On December 23rd of last year, the Sanko Mineral embarked on a maintenance cruise around Lyme Bay after being at anchor for over three months.
Formerly owned outright by Sanko Steamship, the Sanko Mineral reportedly passed into Greek ownership in 2012 for $21.5 million.
Who is paying the crew for this self-imposed internment off Maidencombe is a mystery.
Posted by MR CRUISEDOG at 22:21