AMSA thanks MV Xinfa Hai for towing stricken cargo ship
On Sunday 11 January, the MV Thor Commander reported it had damaged its main engine. The vessel was drifting north-east of Perkins Reef and north of Elusive Reef in the Swain Reefs group, about 379 kilometres north-east of Gladstone when it was disabled.
A towline was established between the disabled vessel and an assisting Chinese-flagged merchant vessel MV Xinfa Hai on Monday night. Queensland Police vessel Lyle M Hoey also diverted to the scene and assisted in establishing the towline between the two merchant ships. The MV Xinfa Hai subsequently towed the Thor Commander in an easterly direction prior to the tug’s arrival on Tuesday morning. The tug Smit Leopard from Gladstone towed the Thor Commander to Gladstone, arriving on Thursday morning.
Establishing a towline at sea is a difficult operation, particularly between two merchant ships of such size where the crew does not have the opportunity to practise such operations. AMSA commends all of the vessels and crews involved. A presentation to the crew of the Lyle M Hoey is scheduled for the near future.