FUKUOKA -- A cargo ship ran aground on a breakwater at a port here on the night of Nov. 28, leaking oil into the sea.
The Lady Rosemary, a 9,576-ton freight vessel registered in Panama, collided with the breakwater at around 11:45 p.m. at the Port of Hakata in the city of Fukuoka. None of the 22 crew aboard the 143-meter-long ship were injured.
The Fukuoka Coast Guard Office is investigating the cause of the accident, with an eye on charging the ship's operator on suspicion of professional negligence endangering sea traffic.
According to the coast guard, the vessel had left for the Port of Kobe loaded with bananas about 15 minutes before the collision. The sea was calm and the local lighthouse was reportedly operating normally at the time. As some oil leaked from the bow after the collision, coast guard patrol boats set up an oil fence to prevent the spill from spreading.
The site is about 1 kilometer northwest of Suzaki Wharf at the Port of Hakata. The incident did not affect sea traffic. Though it is unlikely the Lady Rosemary will sink or capsize, authorities are planning to use another ship to remove the Panamanian vessel as it cannot navigate on its own.
(Japanese original by Masashi Yomogida, Kyushu News Department)