Giant bulker Wakashio aground on reef off Mauritius

Interesting homemade device to recover the oil:

Looking at the latest photos, the ‘Wakashio’ has already broken her back.
The aft part unto the first cargo hold lies low in the water but nearly even, while the cargo part rises to the out of water bow.

Only the deck and cargo hold structures are holding her together.


A tug is already hooked up on the bow in case it breaks loos and drifts off.


See the video.

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One article says that the Coast Guard couldn’t hail the ship. Another I read said they were able to reach the Master a few minutes prior to grounding and he assured them he was in no danger of grounding. ( Possibly another gps DR mode scenario such as the Royal Majesty incident off Nantucket I.?

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Could be a lot of things but the ECDIS upgrade of that error is my guess.

ECDIS track-line error and no “route check” done. Also possibly contour setting were wrong.

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Looking out the window may have helped.

7 posts were split to a new topic: Old time Radars

Aground at 1600 UTC, would have been about 2 hrs after sunset.

So, 22 or so miles away can’t see land? And in that 22 miles after sunset and making way cannot see the lights on the beach? Not looking out the window and ignoring radio calls warning them off doesn’t make that bridge team very credible. And yes, as bug relayed, going out on the wing as you were nearing the coast you may have picked up sounds/waves on the beach that weren’t apparent while underway at sea.

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It seems that the ship was at least a few hundred miles off course to the north. Any handheld GPS device would have shown the position coordinates that didn’t make sense on that voyage. It is hard to think of an explanation for the vessel to be in that location. Ships of that size don’t call into Mauritius for anything. There is only one fringe possibility that comes to mind- Their weather routing service may have recommended this ‘oddly original’ course for getting some boost from the currents. In my time, we would wholly ignore the classroom advice given by these services, other than to train your Chief Officer in Master’s ultimate responsibilities, that of making the best decisions to ensure the safety of the ship and protecting the environment.

The ship was en route China to Brazil via Cape of Good Hope.

Singapore_C oGH

Given the navigational expertise demonstrated I’m still wondering how the hell they made it through Singapore Strait.


“On 14 July 2020, the bulk carrier sailed from Singapore (Offshore Terminal) to Tubarao, Brazil. Everything went smoothly until July 25, when the ship faced adverse weather conditions near the coast of Mauritius. It was then, necessary to perform various maneuvers to change course due to the state of the sea. All maneuvers were supervised by the captain and first officer of the ship who were aware of the situation and weather conditions; At 19:25hrs of the same day, while on the bridge, the captain, the first officer and the chief engineer noticed that the ship stopped moving and that it was stranded, in a latitude position: 20°26.6S and longitude: 057°44.6E, notifying the parties concerned (flag of the ship, ship operators and local authorities),” the statement added.

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Hmm… that’s strange, as you’ve highlighted the satellite data shows it hadn’t changed course for days before. I don’t recall reading anything about unusual weather conditions before either.

Sometimes Captains on ships that don’t have internet plot a course close to land so they can briefly get phone signal and receive messages, perhaps that might have been a factor.

It will be interesting if they have a audio VDR recording of events leading up to the incident. I’ve heard some companies have video cameras on the bridge, maybe they will become more prevalent to ensure people are keeping a proper watch.

With all the technology available today it’s hard to understand how this could happen, just speculating maybe they were approaching a way-point and the bridge watch-keeper fell asleep and the BNWAS was switched off. It was a Saturday evening, maybe they were having a barbecue on the bridge wing and the watch-keeper wasn’t paying attention.

Presuming they were doing 4 on 8 off whoever came on watch at 1600 should have checked the chart for any navigational features they might come across in the next 4 hours, so this seems to have been extremely careless to say the least. Even in the open sea you can come across the occasional ODAS buoy.


From Danish maritime publication Søfart:

Splash 24/7 also have an article speculating on why the course change?:


In this picture she appears to be about to break in two.

Latest from Splash 24/7.

The Mauritius Government has made claim against the Owner/Insurers:

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I think they probably mean they tried to get close to the island to get mobile signal not wifi. Satellite internet for ships is regularly becoming cheaper, installing it would probably save companies money in the long run as it stops Captains from trying to get dangerously close to land to try and get a mobile signal.

L’express made a video detailing the AIS data, it looks like they changed course about 2 hours before going aground, initially they were heading straight for Mahebourg.