Hanjin Ship

Does anyone remember when a Hanjin container ship heading from Asia to Seattle was battered by a storm, then abandoned, and went adrift for a week? Eventually they put a tow on her and she was brought to Seattle, and what a sight she was. Anyone have a good adrift story?

Just the other day, November 2016, we crossed the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Victoria from Port Angeles to go see the short face bear and mammoth exhibit, and there, not far off Victoria, but far enough, I saw a Hanjin ship, alone, anchored, entirely stripped of containers, smoke from its generators rising form the stack. Hanjin went bankrupt early in the fall of 2016, or late in the summer, and ships were trapped at the dock, or trapped at sea, nobody willing to handle the ships for fear of not being paid, and this was one such ship. She had, I suppose, been in Vancouver or Seattle and was stripped there of cargo then went to anchor in the middle of nowhere. It was a good fifty minute launch ride to the shop from Victoria, maybe more. And on that ship was the entire crew, 22 men, stuck, unable to go ashore, unable to go anywhere, in total limbo. The ship’s owner (the ship was a leased ship) was getting the crew food. Who knows how long they will be out there, anchored, men withut a country?

2 thoughts on “Hanjin Ship”

  1. I wrote that Hanjin story for Professional Mariner. Wanted to interview the captain of the big salvage tug that brought her in but only got a manager from Texas. Afterward I understood that the captain would have been modest and said that the tow was no problem, but the court settlement is based, in part, on the difficulty of the tow so they had to present it as a terrifying tow, which I think it was. But once the lawyers get involved it is no longer just a good story of a job well done.

    1. Thanks, Alan. I was on the ferry leaving Seattle for the peninsula right when the ship pulled past, we had to steam around her stern, went right near her. Containers sprung, open, hanging, leaning, bent, everywhere. I think there was, and for all I know may still be, a court case arguing about who pays for the damaged cargo and who gets reimbursed for the costs or retrieval. That ship was a haunting sight, believe me.

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