Ghost ship risk to Petronas oil rig now under tow

Ghost ship risk to Petronas oil rig now under tow

PUTRAJAYA: A ‘ghost ship’ — or a ship without a crew — reported to be drifting in Vietnamese waters and potentially could hit a Petronas oil rig in Terengganu waters on Monday (Jan 3), has been towed to a safe location, according to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).

MMEA director-general Maritime Admiral Datuk Mohd Zubil Mat Som said MMEA received a report from an Indonesian shipping company that a ship belonging to LIMIN ROSMINA had lost its tow rope while towing the WINPOSH RAMPART ship without a crew at about 3.15 pm on Monday (Jan 3).

According to him, the two ships involved were in Vietnamese waters at a position about 120 nautical miles from Kuala Terengganu, while en route from Matak (Indonesia) to Yang Pu (China).

He said in a statement yesterday that the tow rope snapped due to bad weather and WINPOSH RAMPART then drifted into Malaysian waters.

“The risk assessment analysis found that the WINPOSH RAMPART ship could potentially collide with Petronas’ Telok A oil rig and cause it to explode and trigger a life-threatening incident if no swift measures were taken to deal with it,“ he said.

In this regard, he said APMM had coordinated assistance with Petronas to tow the WINPOSH RAMPART ship to a safer location.

The assets involved in the operation were the JUJUR Maritime vessel (KM) and AW139 aircraft with six members of the MMEA Special Action Team (PTK) which were mobilised to the location of the ghost ship, while Petronas sent ICON LOTUS and SK PILOT ships, he said.

He said the MMEA PTK then synchronised operations with the AW139 aircraft to analyse the crisis and identify ways to stop the ship from drifting.

Mohd Zubil said PTK members were lowered from the AW139 aircraft aboard the WINPOSH RAMPART around 3.30 pm yesterday to execute the process for the ship to be towed by the ICON LOTUS.

According to him, WINPOSH RAMPART is now being towed by ICON LOTUS to Kemaman Supply Base in Terengganu, a journey expected to take almost 65 hours. — Bernama