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HISTORIC COASTER: The ship that went missing

It is 25 years ago this month that the 17,676gt South Korean container ship Hanjin Incheon went missing off the Kurile Islands in the western Pacific while on a voyage between Seattle, Washington and Pusan, South Korea. Japan’s Maritime Safety Agency dispatched three patrol boats to the area, one with a helicopter, but found nothing more than one partially floating container that could not be retrieved because of the heavy seas.

Several days earlier a Japanese fishing boat had come across two empty lifeboats, both with the word ‘Hanjin’ on them, and a second boat, the No.57 Tenryu-Maru, had picked up one partially decomposed body. That was all that was ever found. It is known that the combined effect of wind and waves on a ship can lead to an excess roll angle, as well as water on deck and cargo motion. It is thought that Hanjin Incheon must have experienced these conditions to such a degree that all stability was lost.

Ships Montly - January 2024

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