Fortune Leader - Tokyo, Japan


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The 1977-built, 22,670-dwt, 13,634-grt Fortune class general cargo and bulk carrier Fortune Leader is seen in this photograph while she was transiting upbound in the Welland Canal during the afternoon hours of May 19th, 1979. At the time this picture was taken she was sailing southbound in the canal after having just departed from lock 1 which is located in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. Photograph by Barry Andersen.

She was built in Kure, Japan by Ishakawajima Harima Heavy Industries as their hull number 2471 for Nichimen K.K., Japan and she entered service during October of 1977 as Fortune Leader. By the early 1980s her owner was recorded as Yokou Shipping Co. Ltd., also of Japan and in July of 1985 she was sold to Seastar Navigation, Greece and renamed Pyrros. In 1988 she became Fareast Trader and in 1989 she was renamed Vincarose. This name lasted until 1995 when she was renamed YF Libra. By the end of 1995 though they had renamed her Wan Ling. During 1996 she was purchased by the China Ocean Shipping Company however the name was not changed.

It is clear by her detention record with Fairplay that her condition has been in a state of steady decline since then. In April of 1996 she was detained in Thevenard, Australia for a number of problems including an inoperative oil/water separator, excessive oily water in her engine room bilge, faulty fire hydrants and an inoperative lifeboat engine. Later that year she was held in the U.S. due to a faulty main fire pump, faulty wiring, rotted piping in many locations, excessive oil throughout her engineroom and inoperative service generators.

In 1997 she was again held in Tampa, Florida because her crew could not execute an adequate fire drill and abandon ship evacuation, her oil separator was still inoperative, her firefighting hoses, hydrants and extinguishers were not serviced and in poor condition and her life saving equipment - lifeboats, handrails, davits and falls were in very poor condition. Then on January 15th, 1998 she was held in Honolulu, Hawaii when a 7 inch hull fracture was found in her starboard shell plating with improper temporary repairs that were not certified. At that time it was also found that she was 4 deck hands short of the required 9.

No doubt Wan Ling's condition has deteriorated significantly since then and it is very likely that she trades exclusively in the far east where detentions are less likely to happen. It is also very likely that she will soon end up on a scrapping beach somewhere in the Asian subcontinent.

Information courtesy Marine News - The World Ship Society
The Fairplay Internet Ship Register & Lloyds registers
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Posted: January 5, 2003       Last Revised: January 5, 2003
Photo by Barry Andersen, courtesy Jeff Cameron