Ore carrier Stellar Daisy vanishes in South Atlantic


There is a lot of speculation about the cargo handling system, even square ‘pipes’ are mentioned. I understand that the accident investigation reports of those ships, which contains that sort of information, were never published. If so how can this be possible in a modern today’s democratic society and did the seafarers unions go along with such a procedure? Just wondering…


Looks like the 24 year old tired hull gave up, may the poor souls rest in peace.

Unless I missed it; did the EPIRB deploy? She sank in some 12000ft of water, wonder if flag state and or class will attempt to recover the S-VDR.


You can rest assured the flag state and class will NOT.
Why??? Flag state is MIR, which is an American run operation and Class is not interested in finding out anything that may compromise their reputation, never mine which Class Society we are talking about.


[quote=“Dutchie, post:1, topic:44511, full:true”]
A message last received by Polaris (the Korean owners) from a crew member said the ship was taking in water on the port side and was listing rapidly.
The master ordered all crew to put on lifejackets prior to capsizing.
The ship sank in less than five minutes in the vicinity of 34 04S 018 32W, 350 miles northwest of Tristan Da Cunha Island, and the EPIRB was activated automatically.
There were no other distress signals send from the ship itself after capsizing.
The signal was received by the Marshall Islands Marine Rescue Center (MRCC) at 11.52 p.m. on March 31 (Seoul time).
The initial distress signal was sent via messenger at 11.25 p.m. On Apr 1 at 03.54 a.m. and 03.57 a.m. there were two distress signals, sent via Distress Alert DSC, and those alerts could be sent by persons only, not automatically, from a position six miles off the EPIRB signal position.[/quote]

A ship of that size sunk in five minutes! These ore carriers fall into the category of floating coffins.


Very interesting info.
So the first sign of a distress was sent via Messenger, which is a commercial message service “by a crew member”, presumably not the Master, at 11.25 PM.
The EPIRB signal was received at 11.52 PM (I.e. 27 min. later), which would presumably have been shortly after the vessel had capsized and the EPIRB had floated free.

PS> I cannot find anything about MRCC. The nearest is this from IRI: https://www.register-iri.com/index.cfm?action=searchRescue

Most surprising is the distress signals sent via DSC 4 hours later.
Could this have been sent from a life boat, (maybe by the two survivors) or from another ship in the vicinity to notify of the accident, in which case there should be a ship’s name given…

Another mystery to add to the list.


The DSC Distress Alert signals which were received four hours later cannot have come from de Stellar Daisy but could have come from one of the responding vessels. The DSC transmission includes the ship’s MMSI number so the origin must be known. May be we will learn whose signal that was.

Portable handheld VHF/DSC equipment only recently became available so that is out of the question. Also the ship seems to have disappeared in minutes after starting to list so there was no time to bring anything to a liferaft.


I got news for ya. The Titanic sinking in 2 hours plus was an outlier. Most ships sink pretty damned quickly.


Welcome back. @catherder


Those old school ships took much longer to sink than the modern types of ships. The damaged ss Flying Enterprise type C1-B even lasted 13 days with in the beginning a list of 45° and later even 60°.


Probably a coincident but this article about approval of Inmarsat Broadband and Fleet One as part of GMDSS appeared in Hellenic Shipping: http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/inmarsat-fleetbroadband-takes-major-step-toward-formal-gmdss-approval/

Would this have made a difference for the Stellar Daisy crew?? Probably not, but it couldn’t hurt.
In any emergency at sea it is important to be able to communicate and to pinpoint the location of the vessel in distress. This will potentially add the Internet as one more way of doing so.


From Lloyd’s List: https://www.lloydslist.com/ll/sector/dry-cargo/article553292.ece


A spokesman of the Uruguayan navy told Reuters that the two rescued sailors said “water was entering” the ship, which the captain said was breaking apart. A cause has not been identified; Jaunsolo said there were no navigation or weather issues.

This might indicate that no liquefaction of the cargo took place but that the cause could have been metal fatigue. Although the operator Polaris Shipping must have spoken to the two survivors they declined to comment on possible causes at this stage. Vale, the reported cargo owner, has not replied to emails from Lloyd’s List. The radio silence of the owners could be for insurance reasons but they will have to speak up at some time.


The ‘radio silence’ of the Koran owners mentioned earlier seems to be a cultural thing. In case of a crisis they retreat into their shells, clamming up and refrain from communicating with the outside world. It took them six days to produce a cryptic message saying nothing. Rather shameful and showing little respect for the deceased.

While an investigation has yet to conclude, all eyes will be on the statement from the rescued crew as one of them is said to have sent the last message to the shipowner saying that the vessel was taking on water. The survivors mentioned the ship listed, split in two and sank in high seas after cracks on the main deck led to water ingress.

The two seafarers, who are expected to land at Cape Town on April 13, said that they went to the starboard deck for evacuation on the lifeboat, but due to the vessel’s heavy list it was not possible, so they released the life raft.

Gaston Jaunsolo, Spokesman for the Uruguay Navy, was cited earlier as saying that the ship is believed to have split in two and sank soon after. Media reports indicated that shifting of the cargo might have been the cause of the hull crack that led to the ship’s capsizing.

Another possibility which has been mentioned and that could be responsible for the sinking Is rapid loading of the iron ore and in this manner overstressing the hull.

In the mean time IMO has called for an inquiry into the loss of the Stellar Daisy which could lead to a ‘MOL Comfort’ effect and accordingly a change in shipping rules.


The reports I saw regarding the weather were that seas were calm. Where did the report of high seas come from?


You are right, the reports are contradictory which is not uncommon under such a stressful situations. I will try to find the weather forecast/data for that area.

I suspect that we will learn little more of the incident from the survivors when they arrive at Cape Town. They probably will be swarmed and surrounded by the Polaris office boys and swept away to a secret location.

I am beginning to think that this is a smelly affair as now also the Stellar Unicorn of the same owners has been forced to reroute to Cape Town for ‘urgent repairs’.


That doesn’t seem likely. How would that work? Does this company Polaris somehow secretly run the IMO?


No, not the IMO. What I meant was to be screened off from the international press reprentatives which will probably lie in waiting.


I just received this via whatsapp, so I´m not 100% sure of its reliability, but here are the statements of the two survivors, Mr. Renato Daymiel (oiler) and Mr. Jose Cabrahan (AB):


TRANSLATION FROM FILIPINO-ENGLISH…— I am Renato L. Daymiel no.1 oiler of Stellar Daisy Polaris shipping. The day the ship sinks March 31, 2017 friday. one o’clock in the afternoon(1300H) we repair economizer SOOT blow pipe with Joker (wiper) and winston (cadet). after thirty minutes the ship was shaking and it was strong. And then the main engine comes to slow. Captain announced “All crew go to Bridge” three times. So we immediately run upstairs and I noticed that the ship is slowly listing to port side. When we arrived at upper deck we cannot proceed to the bridge or in our cabin to get our life jacket and immersion suit because the ship continues to list that’s why we go directly to stbd side and out. I hold into the railings near to where the life raft is., wiper and cadet was holding near to a door in upper deck. Buson was next to me because he told me that we’re going to release the life raft but we did not do it anymore because the ship is listing rapidly. That’s why i stand on top of the railings. When i turn my sight to the cargo holds; the metals was exploding and there was a strong pressure of water with a bunker coming out near to us that’s why I jumped but it caught me,…-- i noticed that i was under water. rolling like im inside the washing machine. when the water stop rolling; there was a strong pressure of water pushing me up. that’s why i was easily up into the surface. when i was in the surface, i did not see the ship anymore. There are plenty of things floating nearby one of those was the immersion suit that has a name print of it BSN. I went for it and guided to swim, i also saw a life jacket. I noticed around and i saw a life boat but it was capsized and has a damged on the side. I went for it near to the propeller that it was already on top. i shouted to my crew mates " Where are you" but no one answered. 5 minutes had passed on a capsized lifeboat. Not too long enough, I noticed two life raft that floating one of those was capsized, sometimes vanishing because of the big waves. It comes to my mind to transfer to the life raft hoping that my crew mates was there. I wear the immersion suit and life jacket. i swim to the life raft that has a distance more or less 300 meters, when i was near to it, i shouted " help"…I was happy that someone answered. But when i come to near of it, only one person was onboard. He was Jose Mari Cabrahan (AB), he pull the sea anchor near to me. He helped me up to board the life raft cause i was so tired When i was onboard, we search the area hoping that we see our crew mates. until it was dark. we switch on the life raft’s light and I also on the flash light to the area so that if there some of our crew mates can see us. But no one comes. we waited rescue for the whole night, Until in the morning. daylight has come, we saw a ship afar. We felt joy and gladness. we put out parachute hoping they can us but the parachute was not working. so we used hand flare waving up. but the ship was so far from us. we lose our hope and rested inside the life raft. Hours had gone, we again see whats outside and we saw a ship afar facing to our direction. we felt joy and gladness again and we put the three parachute but it was still not working. we get the smoke signal and throw outside, we also use other hand flare and waving…
waving it up. We felt gladness that the ship blow it’s horn. Meaning they saw us. And we also see another ship facing unto us. When the ship was near, we saw the name of the ship M/V ELPIDA. Number of crew was waiting outside and waving unto us. until they get us out from the sea. We have a big thanks to all crew and oficers of MV Elpida especially to Captain Pelayo and C/E. They gave us clothes and they also feed us. Until here… Truthfully Renato L Daymiel

TRANSLATION FROM FILIPINO-ENGLISH … I am Jose Marie Cabrahan on board Stellar Daisy. 1530h LT 31 March 2017. I hear an explosion on deck. then i felt that the ship was listing to port side. I immediately left my work on upper deck and went directly to my cabin to get life jacket and immersion suit. and went directly to " Muster Station" in port side. When was there; no one was there. And i heard captain announced "All crew got to bridge. two times. The ship was still listing continuously to port side and i passed to port side stair way through the bridge. when i entered the bridge, i saw C/E lying near the door and i saw CAPT/ 2M/3M/Ccook/2cook/AB Cadet deck/Oiler/ elec. All of them was wearing life jacket. i saw the clinometer continuously listing. Iwas in the port side near the door. Maybe 1-2 minutes i saw 3M on teh VHF calling Mayday Mayday Mayday, then i saw the water coming into the bridge from the port side and i jumped to the water. It pulled me under rolling like washing machine, luckily that i wear life jacket and when i go to the surface of the water, the ship was gone. I saw the sea was in bubbles . and after couple of minutes , nobody was there. i saw a immersion suit and got it and hug it. and took a rest for a minute. I saw a life raft afar like 270-300 meters away. i swim for it and slowly thinking that i will survive. when i was onboard the life raft, i took 10 minutes to rest. After a while, i heard shouting for help and saw a crew. i pulled the sea anchor to be near him. he was No.1 oiler,“Renato Daymiel”, while we’re inside the liferaft. we search nearby hoping to see other crew mates. then i saw one capsized life raft. i also saw three life jackets floating but nobody was there. we stay inside the life raft and looking out nearby. Until in was night time, we never saw our crew mates. At night we lighted the canopy light and also our life jackets. In the morning April 1, 2017 we saw a ship coming, we used smoke signal and hand flare so that they can noticed us, we felt hope and joy the time they saw us and coming right to us. we used parachute flares but it’s not working. we used smoke signal and hand flare. hte ship was coming unto us and the name of the ship was MV ELPIDA. they rescued us at 13:45LT. Thank you to all crew of “MV ELPIDA” . They gave us clothes and feed us.


Thanks @Pedro_Lanari I was hoping somebody would be able to translate the letters for us. Thanks again.


Good that you got hold of those statements and translations. The explosion on deck strikes me. The speed with which this huge ship sank is unbelievable and frightening to say the least, a real maritime horror story. Coming to the surface and your ship is gone…

Thank you for sharing this with us!