Shipwrecked: Two barges run aground as towlines break in heavy seas off Cape coast

2009-06-25 00:00

AS the winter weather worsened, two barges were shipwrecked off the Cape coast.

NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon said the barge the Margaret broke away from her tow tug at Jacobsbaai, north of Saldhana on the west coast, in rough seas.

The Margaret, which is thought to have 13 barges stacked on top of her, was being towed from Durban to the Netherlands.

Another barge, the GTO XVII, was being towed from Maputo to Port Harcourt in Nigeria when the towing tug was granted permission to take shelter off Mossel Bay due to bad weather. Heavy seas caused the towline to break near the Knysna Heads.

“In both cases, efforts to reconnect the tow failed, causing the barges to run aground,” said Lambinon.

The barges were not carrying people or hazardous cargo. Lambinon said GTO will be monitored by the SA Maritime Safety Authority.

An NSRI regional spokesperson said the barges will likely remain where they ran aground until the weather clears. “It is too dangerous for anyone to get on board. The rough sea could wash them away.”

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