Chilean authorities in the extreme south of the country have decided to deny port access in Punta Arenas to a Korean flagged jigger which arrived from the Falkland Islands having suffered extensive damage following a fire in the engine room. Her fate seems to be breaking her up.
The 370 ton Korean jigger Myung Jin 601, built in 1974, according to Punta Arenas authorities regularly operated in South Atlantic waters and was towed to the south of Chile (the nearest ship-yard) for repairs on instructions from a London insurance company.
However, given her overall “deteriorated” condition, Punta Arenas maritime officials—based on a survey from the local Asmar ship-yard—decided to ban her from sailing in Chilean waters. This also prevented the jigger from being towed to some other port in the Atlantic or Pacific and was not considered suitable for a aquaculture reef.
Since then, she has suffered leaks of ammonium used for the cooling system and fuel tanks which, even at their lowest levels, are no longer reliable. “Given this situation it was decided to support the request to sell her for breaking up,” said Punta Arenas port Captain Pablo Ferrada, adding “we have several interested parties.” But to proceed in this way the Customs introduction of the vessel had to be as “junk metal.”
The jigger is currently moored with special steel reinforcements under strict security measures. Once the Customs paperwork is finished, a contingency plan to prevent contamination, monitored by Chilean maritime authorities and a marine biologist will proceed, said Captain Ferrada.
Before the actual break up begins all, oil, chemicals and harmful elements must be carefully withdrawn and then the new owners will have four months to end the job and clear all signs of the former jigger.