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Home Out of the Box Pier collision in Incheon detains TMS bulker captain over speeding suspicion

Pier collision in Incheon detains TMS bulker captain over speeding suspicion

The captain of a Greek-owned Capesize bulk carrier, Flecha, has been detained and charged with negligence after the vessel was involved in an accident in Incheon, South Korea.

The charge was disclosed by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries and the Korea Coast Guard on 9 May.

The 2004-built Flecha, owned by TMS Dry, collided with the mooring facilities at Yongheung Pier around Yeongdeungpo-gu Thermal Power Plant in Incheon, on 21 April, while discharging coal from Russia.

No one was injured in the accident, which damaged parts of the hull, leaving a 4-metre gash in the hull, and damaging some coal unloading machines and shock absorbers.

The damages were estimated at over US$8 million while the berth cannot be used as it will need six to 18 months to repair. Investigations have suggested that the ship was speeding as it approached the berth.

The pier has two other berths that can still be used.

Flecha was detained in Incheon for investigations and repairs until 7 May, when it departed for Taboneo, Indonesia.

The coast guard said closed-circuit footage captured the Flecha speeding, reportedly sailing at 7.4 knots within 1 nautical mile of the pier at the time of the accident and slowed down to 3 knots before docking. It is the first time since 2017 that there was an accident around Yongheung Pier involving speeding.

Incheon port limits the berthing speed to no more than 5 knots within 1 nautical mile of its piers and no more than 1 knot before berthing. Yongheung Pier also stipulates that ships must be docked at a speed of no more than 1 knot.

An official of the Incheon Port Authority stated that Flecha departed the port after getting the green light from the authorities and surveyors from the vessel’s classification society, ClassNK. The official added that the port authority has obtained collateral from TMS Dry in the event that fines or penalties are imposed.

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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