Salvage effort continues

A leading Hellenic salvage contractor has firmed up a deal to refloat a bulker that ran aground off the Greek island of Oinousses late last week.

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Market sources have identified Vernicos Zouros as the company overseeing a campaign to free the 53,565-dwt Marine Stars (built 2006), which has been stuck since 18 August.

The same industry contacts have tipped a cargoship controlled by Flinter Shipping of the Netherlands, the 5,750-dwt Flinterrachel (built 2009), as the unit hired to unload some of the grounded bulker’s cargo.

Observers note two Vernicos tugs are monitoring the Marine Stars, which is located near a number of fish farms and beaches frequented by summer tourists.

Market sources say the owner of the supramax, Aegeus Shipping of Greece, appointed Vernicos under an agreement called Lloyd’s Open Forum, which means the size of the salvage award will be determined at a later date.

The arbitrator assigned to the case will likely factor in the value of the vessel, its cargo and a number of other variables when the contractor comes to collect.

Some industry sources claim the Marine Stars is carrying close to 51,000 tons of grain, which leads some to believe the cargo may be worth as much as $30m.