The giant ship, Stellar Banner, a 2016-built, 300,000 DWT, Marshall Islands-flagged Very Large Ore Carrier (VLOC) owned by South Korean, Polaris Shipping which ran aground off Brazil coast on Feb 25, 2020 after departing from Vale’s terminal in Ponta da Madeira, Brazil has finally been refloated.
As per Brazilian Navy, the vessel was successfully re-floated after the removal of approximately 145,000 metric tons of iron ore from the vessel’s cargo holds and 3,900 cu m of oil. The removal assisted to right the ship by 12 degrees from its peak list, exposing part of the deck that was previously submerged.
The giant VLOC has now been towed to deeper waters about 60 miles (111 km) from the coast of Maranhão. The vessel will now undergo various structural inspections with the assistance of divers and remotely operated submarine vehicles.
20-crew members of the Stellar Banner were successfully rescued in February when the ship ran aground. Reportedly, the vessel’s Captain intentionally grounded the vessel about 54 miles (100 km) off the coast of São Luís to save it from possible capsizing.
The salvage operation was led by the Dutch salvage firm Ardent Global with assistance from SMIT Salvage and the Brazilian Navy.