Bulk carrier SHENG MING sank because ZA salvage cost was too high Update

Jun 5 Update:
The SHENG MING Master wanted the club to compensate one month salary but club refused, so he rejected the evacuation and remained on board of distressed ship. Club called ZA government, government called Chinese ambassador in ZA, and by joining forces they solved the problem and got Captain off the ship. It is not known if he got his salary, or not.
P&I Club appears to be the one body which determined ship’s fate, finding towage and repair costs too high and writing her off as total loss.

According to Chinese source, water ingress wasn’t the main cause of SHENG MING sinking, water ingress said to be controllable. The reason she was towed further from Cape Town into ocean and sunk, is too big deposit demanded by South Africa authorities, and unreasonably high towage and repairs costs, salvage wasn’t worth it, or so I was told.
Hopefully, I’ll be able to provide more information on Jun 5.
Voytenko Mikhail
June 4, 2018

Previous news:
Bulk carrier sank after 1.5-month long towage
May 31, 2018
Bulk carrier SHENG MING reportedly sank on May 28 some 180 nm west of Cape Town, after being towed around in legs for more than a month. Bulk carrier was under tow to Cape Town after she was disabled by water ingress in engine room, towage stopped some 40 nm off Cape Town, until May 23 she was towed around, on May 23 towage turned west. Probably, she was towed as far offshore as possible to avoid pollution, but still, her sinking is a mystery. Why couldn’t she be salvaged? Maybe the ship was doomed because of oncoming rough weather, and salvors decided to take her out to ocean as far as possible?

Bulk carrier with flooded engine room in trouble off Cape Town
Apr 27: Bulk carrier SHENG MING loaded with iron ore is in troubled off Cape Town, where she was towed by tug after her engine room was flooded. Reportedly the ship loaded her cargo at Pepel Transshipment Area Sierra Leone, she sailed from Pepel on Mar 30, bound for Port Elizabeth, South Africa, ETA Apr 17. She was disabled on Apr 12 being off Namibia coast, details of accident unknown. On Apr 14 she was taken on tow to be towed to Cape Town. On Apr 24 when being some 40 nm north of Cape Town, towage stopped, not clear why, as of 0200 YTC Apr 27 there were two tugs near distressed bulk carrier, SA AMANDLA and MAERSK TENDER. Probably condition of bulk carrier deteriorated, and she isn’t allowed to be taken to Cape Town or its’ anchorage.
Bulk carrier SHENG MING, IMO 9109392, dwt 71122, built 1995, flag Panama, manager Wealth Success Transportation, HK.



My name is Mikhail Voytenko, I’m Russian, professional merchant marine navigator, by education and former experience. I own and run Maritime Bulletin website for more than 10 years. I've been involved in solving a number of piracy hijack cases, including the hijack of ro-ro FAINA, loaded with tanks. It was me who made public, and unravel, freighter ARCTIC SEA mystery. I've been also closely involved in a number of maritime disaster, one of them being MSC FLAMINIA major fire.