(Photo credit: Skandi Emerald)

New Zealand authorities have confirmed that the Singaporean-flagged cargo vessel Shiling that requested assistance after it lost power and steering, remains safely anchored at Tasman Bay with the Skandi Emerald on site to provide assistance.

The container ship made a mayday call at about 11 am, on Friday 12 May, and initially requested assistance after it lost power and steering.

“The Shiling has been transferred from 22 nautical miles North North-West of Farewell Spit, to 15 nautical miles East of the Spit. It has been transported there under the towage of the Skandi Emerald,” said at that time the Maritime New Zealand.

There are 24 crew members on-board which remain safe and the vessel is sound, as it is reported. At 11 am, the vessel put out a mayday call, due to heavy seas, stating the crew were preparing to abandon the vessel. A search and rescue response plan and preparations have been coordinated by Maritime´s New Zealand rescue coordination centre.

Today Maritime NZ, the national regulatory, compliance and response agency, said in its release that timings for moving the vessel are still to be confirmed. According to the forecast, the next potential weather window for relocation is on Friday. Payment for moving the vessel is managed by the Shiling’s owners and their insurers, as also mentioned by Maritime NZ.

Incident Controller, Andrew Saunderson, says that Maritime NZ needs to be satisfied that the move can be done safely.

“Centreport and the Wellington Harbourmaster continue to look into plans and preparations for the vessel’s arrival. Centreport has previously handled a vessel that has lost power and is working to minimise any disruption to the port or other craft in the vicinity. Maritime NZ is continuing its monitoring and oversight role and is in regular contact with all the involved parties,” highlights in its release the Maritime New Zealand.