Salvors battle storms

Salvors attempting to tow a disabled chemical tanker to the US mainland are being hampered by poor weather in the Pacific Ocean.

The 20,000-dwt Pine Galaxy (built 2004) is expected to arrive in San Francisco later this week, according to the US Coast Guard (USCG).

The ship, which is being towed by a commercial tug, reportedly encountered heavy weather that has slowed its progress.

The Tokyo Marine-owned tanker suffered an engine room fire on 13 August that resulted in the death of one crewman and left the ship without power or propulsion.

The USCG says it has formed a joint agency team with the ship's owners to ensure the vessel safely transits to repair facilities in San Francisco.

“The ship, a mixed-product carrier, is currently being towed toward San Francisco with a varying arrival time based on weather conditions and the speed of the tow,” the USCG said.

“Our top priority is ensuring a coordinated effort to get the ship safely into port where repairs can be made,” said Captain Greg Stump, commander, Coast Guard Sector San Francisco.

The Bahamas-flagged is reportedly carry a cargo made up of neutral oil, tetramer, propylene tetramer and vegetable oil.

There have been no reports of any cargo leaking from the ship and no reported damage to the vessel’s cargo tanks, fuel tanks or hull.

The ship was 700 nautical miles off the US West Coast whilst en route from Los Angeles to Yeosu in South Korea when the fire broke out.