The British Cormorant is part of BP’s Bird class group of tankers, one of 12 such ships used by the corporation. Each of those tankers is named after a particular bird, having been built by Samsung Heavy Industries Company Limited in South Korea. This particular double hull tanker was delivered in April 2005 and usually requires a crew of 25 officers.
Part of the Aframax shipping group, the British Cormorant weighs slightly under 114,000 dead weight tons and is 825 feet long. Aframax is an acronym for Average Freight Rate Assessment Maximum. With a beam of 143.7 feet, it has a top speed of 15.7 knots and is powered by a single propeller diesel engine.
One of the things that sets this ship apart from others is the fact that it’s been specially designed to handle travel through specific areas where ice is an issue. The bow area that offers unique construction that’s been reinforced to handle rigorous conditions accomplishes that.
On September 13, 2010, the British Cormorant was in Australian waters conducting drills with a rescue boat when a line snapped. The six men in the rescue boat, wearing life jackets, were thrown into the water when it capsized. A more serious situation developed when three members of the ship crew were injured.
The mishap resulted in the Australian Coast Guard being called into action, with a rescue helicopter picking up the six men from the rescue boat and taking them in a nearby village. Two of the crew that were injured were hospitalized, including one with spinal injuries.
Since the final weeks of 2015, the British Cormorant has reached ports of call that range from Russia to Norway to the United Kingdom, with the ultimate destination being Corpus Christi, Texas in the United States.