Incident with The Car Carrier Cougar Ace (No.5)
August 01, 2006
TOKYO - Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL, President: Akimitsu Ashida) reported that the hull of the MOL-operated car carrier Cougar Ace, disabled at sea south of the Aleutian Islands on Monday, July 24 was approximately 230 nautical miles from the Aleutian Islands when the incident occurred. At the report on Friday July 28 (local time), the Cougar Ace was approximately 130 nautical miles south of the Aleutian Islands. A tugboat, engaged in other services near Adak Island, was chartered to stand by the disabled car carrier starting on the morning of July 29 (local time) to prevent the vessel from approaching land and, if necessary, restrain it. Since then, the distance from land has not changed significantly because of changes in wind direction.
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), the Alaska Department of Environment Conservation and MOL established a "Unified Command" under the guidance of USCG on July 28 (local time). From that time forward, salvage plans for the cargo and vessel will be laid down and executed under the leadership of the Unified Command.
The vessel has been adrift with the same degree of list. A Coast Guard cutter is on the scene monitoring the Cougar Ace.
Salvage engineers engaged by MOL arrived at the site the morning of July 30 (local time). They are conducting safety inspection around and onboard the vessel. Based on the inspection results, they will lay down a plan for moving the vessel immediately prior to towing it, subject to approval by the USCG.