A new search has been demanded to recover the second Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) from the wreck of the South Korean bulk carrier Stellar Daisy, 266,141dwt, which sank in the South Atlantic in March, 2017, with just two survivors from her crew of 24.
The Stellar Daisy, owned by Polaris Shipping of South Korea, was carrying a cargo of iron ore from Brazil to China when she sank east of Uruguay.
The South Korean Government funded the search and signed a contract with the seabed survey and ocean exploration company Ocean Infinity and its Seabed Constructor, 7,883gt, had sailed from Cape Town on Feb 8 for the search area. Then on Feb 18, Ocean Infinity announced that it had located the wreck and the South Korean Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries announced that the ship’s VDR had been retrieved from the bridge.
According to a report into the tragedy published in April by the Republic of the Marshall Islands, where the ship was registered, her loss was due to a catastrophic structural failure of her hull, which probably began in No 2 port water ballast tank.
It was announced on July 26 that the VDR had revealed only partial voyage information and the results did not include the voices of crew members at the last moments before the ship sank.
The International Stellar Daisy Network claimed the recovered VDR has two data chips, one of which was damaged with cracks so data extraction was impossible and on the other chip only 7 per cent of the data has been recovered.
“We feel appalled about the poor result of the VDR data extraction, from which we had hoped to check voices of crew members, which are crucial to determine the cause of the accident,” the Network stated
“The UK company that extracted the VDR said that it was the first time they saw a data chip with cracks,
“Luckily there are two VDRs on the Stellar Daisy.
“We demand that the South Korean Government do a secondary search to recover the other, which supposedly has the same information as the VDR recovered in the first search.
“We are certain that the recovery of the second VDR will help find out the exact cause of the sinking.
“We also demand that the government determine how the VDR chip has been damaged,” said the Network.