Drifting, powerless cargo ship MV Shiling being towed to shore

Drifting, powerless cargo ship MV Shiling being towed to shore

MV Shiling being taken under tow by the ocean-going tug, Skandi Emerald, which came to the stricken container ship. Video taken by Lottie McCloy from FV Crusader.

Troubled container ship MV Shiling will remain at sea overnight, following a day drifting off the coast of Farewell Spit.

On Saturday evening, Maritime New Zealand said the “stricken vessel will remain under the tow of the ocean” overnight, whilst attached to towing vessel Skandi Emerald.

Over the course of Saturday, Shiling was transferred from 22 nautical miles north north-west of Farewell Spit, to 15 nautical miles east of the Spit.

The 24 crew were safe and the weather conditions in the area “remain favourable”, a spokesperson said.

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Stuff initially reported the ship was being taken to shore, but Maritime NZ clarified the ship’s destination is still under discussion.

“Conversations are continuing around future passage for the vessel, and Maritime NZ is actively monitoring the situation,” the spokesperson said.

On the Marine Traffic website, the boat can be seen moving towards Tasman Bay, which is listed as its destination.

A tug boat spent Friday night keeping the MV Shiling in place, after the 66,000-tonne cargo ship was left drifting and powerless earlier in the day.

The boat was situated north-west of Farewell Spit, at the top of the South Island, and put out a mayday call at 11am on Friday.

The crew were prepared to abandon the drifting ship.

The MV Shiling container ship began being tugged on Friday evening.

Lottie McCloy/Supplied

The MV Shiling container ship began being tugged on Friday evening.

The Defence Force, which had a plane above the MV Shiling, described the stricken vessel as “drifting in rolling seas”.

A C-130 Hercules was diverted to the ship on Friday at the request of Maritime NZ’s Rescue Coordination Centre, as well as an Air Force NH90 helicopter.

On Friday evening the tug, Skandi Emerald, came from Taranaki to take the ship under tow.

The Skandi Emerald arrived on scene at 4.27pm, and started connecting up with the Shiling at 4.42pm.

The MV Shiling photographed by Carl Babe, a crew member of the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter.

Supplied

The MV Shiling photographed by Carl Babe, a crew member of the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter.

Following this, the mayday call was lifted, and rescue helicopters and other emergency services that were ready to respond left the scene.

Once the MV Shiling reaches shore it will be assessed for repair, despite the boat’s recent repair job in April after breaking down in Wellington Heads.

It was cleared to leave Wellington on Thursday, before striking severe weather and having to take shelter.

A Maritime New Zealand Incident Response Team, which was stood up to manage the incident, will continue to monitor the situation. A Maritime NZ investigation is underway.

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