Shiling to undertake harbour trials

26 June 2023

The Singaporean-flagged cargo vessel the Shiling will this afternoon undertake harbour trials as planning continues for its departure from Wellington.

The vessel lost power twice in New Zealand, over the last three months; initially in mid-April, and then after its subsequent departure on 12 May. On 23 May it was towed back to Wellington under the control of an ocean-going tug, the Skandi Emerald .

After the Shiling returned to Wellington, Maritime NZ issued a detention notice against the vessel, which included stringent conditions it has to meet prior to departure.

Maritime NZ’s Deputy Chief Executive, Regulatory Operations Deb Despard, says the organisation’s focus has been on ensuring all steps are made so vessel can safely leave New Zealand waters.

"This has been an ongoing process involving us [Maritime NZ], the vessel, its owners and their agents, insurers, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, Shiling’s classification society, the Wellington Harbourmaster, CentrePort and related organisations such as towage providers.

"Everyone has worked with the aim to get the Shiling safely back to Singapore," she says.

The owner of the Shiling continues to be responsible for the management of the issues with the vessel, as well as meeting the conditions imposed by Maritime NZ, the Marine and Port Authority of Singapore and the vessel’s classification society.

Work to understand and remedy the vessel’s issues has been ongoing for more than a month. It has included the vessel’s owner bringing in experts from overseas, including engineers from the manufacturer of the engine, and working with its classification society to ensure the necessary work is carried out effectively and safely.

"Today is a significant step in getting the vessel ready to depart New Zealand waters. The harbour trial is the first of two, the second being a more rigorous test outside the harbour.

"As outlined in the conditions imposed; the vessel’s sea trials, and a portion of its journey out of Wellington, will see the Shiling accompanied by a suitable escort vessel which is capable of emergency towage.

"We do not want to see a repeat of what we saw in April and May with this vessel, that is why we put a significant number of stringent conditions in place," Deb Despard says.

Maritime NZ will be closely monitoring the trials and its departure out of New Zealand.

Dates for the sea trial and the vessel’s departure for Singapore are yet to be confirmed, and will be determined by feedback from the trials, conversations with other relevant parties and the weather. 

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