A surprising development came on 16 March with the news that eight vessels operated by VW-Nyki Shipping BV, of Rhoon in Netherlands, were being pursued by Deutsche Bank over owners’ mortgage defaults, and it was claimed that crews’ wages had not been paid. By 20 March most of the vessels had been detained in Hull, Maple in Albert Dock, and the others, Birch from Bridlington Bay, Aspen from Immingham and Oak from Teignmouth, in Alexandra Dock.

Merle was in Albert Dock, while Ivy was due from Boston and Salix was also expected. An unfortunate by-product of these arrests was that the 3,035dwt Maple (1985) had just loaded a cargo of animal feed at Hull for Belfast when she was detained. After several days at the Albert Dock, the 4,319dwt Aasvik was chartered and the cargo transferred from Maple. The cargo finally arrived in Belfast on 27 March.


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