The insurers of a cargo ship stranded in False Bay, Cape Town, intend to pull their cover for wreck removal and oil pollution at the end of May, it was reported on Friday.
The Cape Times reported that without the insurer Swedish Club's protection and indemnity cover, it was unclear who would foot the bill if something happened to the Panos Earth.
The SA Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) gave the ship permission to dock in the environmentally-sensitive bay after she experienced engine failure while sailing from Venezuela to China with a cargo of iron ore.
The permission was given on condition the ship was insured and that a Smit Amandla tug was on standby.
Samsa regional manager Dave Colly told the newspaper: "We've been caught out. They [insurers] came to us saying: 'Please can the ship come in to be repaired'. The owner never approached us. Now their risk has been taken care of. Now they're going to be on Samsa's blacklist."
The insurance company's John Owen said underwriters were not in a position to fund commercial operations, and many of the owner's problems were of a "commercial nature".