In a rescue operation off Farewell Spit, New Zealand, an ocean-going harbour tug named Skandi Emerald successfully reached the MV Shiling, a container ship that had lost power in heavy seas, as reported by Stuff
Challenging weather conditions
The tug quickly connected with the Shiling on Friday afternoon, impressing onlookers with their swift action despite challenging weather conditions. Prior to the tow, the crew of the Shiling had been prepared to abandon the ship as it drifted without power or steering. The New Zealand Defence Force dispatched aircraft, including a C-130 Hercules and later a P-8A Poseidon, to monitor the situation. An NH90 helicopter was also on standby for potential rescue efforts.
Conducting an investigation
The Mayday call from the MV Shiling was lifted at 7 pm, and rescue response assets were being released. However, a Maritime NZ Incident Response Team would continue to monitor the situation and conduct an investigation. The tug Skandi Emerald, which happened to be in New Zealand for work in the petrochemical industry, reached the MV Shiling on Friday evening. The cargo was reported to be secure according to feedback from the ship’s master. A rescue helicopter from Nelson and Wellington police launch Lady Elizabeth responded to the scene. Swells around Farewell Spit were gradually easing, expected to drop to two-meter swells on Saturday, accompanied by moderate southwest winds.
The weather on Saturday is expected to have fair visibility with a few showers. The MV Shiling, which had recently undergone repairs after a breakdown near Wellington Harbour in April, encountered severe weather and 8-meter waves, forcing it to seek shelter. The ship had been stranded in Wellington since April 15 due to a main engine issue and drifting over shallow waters. This incident prompted calls for a harbour tug in Wellington to assist vessels in challenging seas. The Shiling departed Wellington on Thursday for its home port in Singapore to undergo further repairs but encountered rough weather near the Kāpiti Coast, leading to periods of drifting and slow motoring while seeking shelter.
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