Cape Town 'ecstatic' stranded ship removed

2012-05-18 17:42
Cape Town - The City of Cape Town is exceptionally pleased that the 50m Japanese fishing vessel that ran aground off First Beach in Clifton has been removed, spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said on Friday.

"The ship has been moved off the sand banks and is being towed into deeper waters," said Solomons-Johannes.

The vessel has been taken to Quay 500 at the port of Cape Town where an inspection will be conducted. The remaining crew members will also be interviewed.
 
Sars and the department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries will conduct inspections of the vessel and its cargo.

"The city is also pleased that the entire operation did not cause any environmental degradation, nor pollution to the shoreline; as well as being delighted at the successful cooperation amongst all government agencies involved in this major procedure."

The Japanese vessel, the Eihatsu Maru, ran aground at 05:15 on Saturday in thick fog.

Challenges

On Wednesday, the salvage team welded a bracket which could withstand the required pull force onto the trawler.

The team also drained 90 to 110 tons of diesel fuel from the ship into a rubber bladder on the beach which would then be transferred to a fuel tanker.

"The salving crews and disaster response experienced challenges to remove the vessel," he said, explaining that the tug boats battled to remove the vessel from the sand.

On Thursday, the Japanese embassy said it was concerned about the vessel.

The government of Japan had urged the owner of the ship to fully co-operate with the South African authorities and to take urgent action to help salvage it.

It expressed "sincere appreciation" to the SA Maritime Safety Authority, the National Sea Rescue Institute, and the South African government for attempting to salvage the ship.

Of the 28 Taiwanese crew members on board, 19 were evacuated. The remaining crew and the captain were required to stay on the ship under international maritime law.
Read more on:    samsa  |  cape town  |  japan  |  maritime

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