The Crimson Polaris has run aground and broken int
The Crimson Polaris has run aground and broken into two parts off Hachinohe.

  • Cargo ship Crimson Polaris ran aground and split into two near the Japanese port of Hachinohe.
  • The 33,910-ton boat was carrying wood chips from Thailand and was close to the end of its voyage.
  • All 21 crew members on board the vessel were air-lifted to safety in a five-hour rescue operation.
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A 33,910-ton cargo ship carrying 21 crew members ran aground, then split into two pieces off the Japanese coast.

The Crimson Polaris, a Panamian-flagged ship, ran aground at 7.30am on  August 11, around 3.8 kilometres from the Hachinohe harbor in northern Japan, according to CNN.

CNN reported that the ship was carrying woodchips from Thailand and was nearing the end of its voyage when it became stuck in the shallows. After it broke apart, it also left a 5-kilometre-long oil slick in its wake.

The vessel's operator Nippon Yusen told Japanese news outlet Kyodo News that the ship, which was built in 2008, was blown by strong winds into water that was not deep enough to keep it floating.

"A portion of the ship's wood-chip cargo was lost from the damaged part of the hull. Nippon Yusen is currently confirming the amount of cargo and the impact on the sea area at the site," read a news release from Nippon Yusen.

"Company personnel have been sent to the site, and necessary support will be provided to the shipowner and ship-management company," the company added in its statement.

All 21 crew members, which included eight Chinese nationals and 13 Filipino nationals, were air-lifted to shore in a rescue effort that lasted around five hours, reported maritime news outlet The Maritime Executive.

A Japanese Coast Guard spokesperson told Reuters the two sections of the boat had not been moved as of August 12. Patrol boats from the Japanese authorities are monitoring the situation.

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