Phoenix sinks to watery grave

2011-09-07 11:22

Durban - The MT Phoenix landed softly in its watery grave on Tuesday, almost 2km underwater and 78km out to sea.

The colossal oil tanker was towed south-east of Durban and scuttled, with the seacocks opened at about 18:00 on Monday to let the Indian Ocean embrace the tanker some 2?000? metres down on the sea bed, deep enough to avoid creating a hazard for passing ships.

SA Maritime Safety Authority communications officer Mambrie May said the ship was stripped before the lengthy operation began.

The MT Phoenix ran aground on the rocks of Sheffield Beach in July 26.

The salvagers received offers for the vessel, but scuppering it was the cheapest option in an operation that cost more than R34m.

  • THE.SRG - 2011-09-07 11:37

    What a waste,why so deep....could have had a great dive spot for tourists

      brok3news - 2011-09-07 11:58

      Avoiding shipping lanes in shallow area.

      PatPion - 2011-09-07 11:59

      I agree!

      slojam - 2011-09-07 12:15

      Exactly, why so deep? 2km to avoid a hazard for passing ships. Geez, I would have thought even 200m is enough to be out of the way for passing ships.

      THE.SRG - 2011-09-07 12:32

      they could easy avoid shipping and still have at a depth for a dive spot and reef,plus they could have had it closer in to shore far away from the shipping lanes

      Appels - 2011-09-07 13:01

      I fully agree, the Produce sank in 30m of water, If it was cleaned properly it would have made a great divespot, and future reef to dive. They missed a oppertunity!

  • Cheech - 2011-09-07 11:47

    No cool pics of it going down? Agree about a reef....wonder if all the fuel was actually taken off properly hence binning it in the deep?

  • Neil - 2011-09-07 12:32

    News 24: Are you dyslexic? what does "2?000? metres" mean? Proof reader on holiday again I see.

  • Ace - 2011-09-07 12:42

    So the Phoenix ran aground on July 26 and the salvage/scuttle process cost more than R34m. That's for planning, engineering and executing the project and Maritime departments having supplying their services for 43 days etc. Now this is a cheap invoice compared to the ANCYL kicking up a R30m tax payers invoice for 6 hours of rioting.

  • LCBXX - 2011-09-07 12:42

    Why didn't they use it for a South-African Navy wargame or similar and torpedo it? Much more fun and purposeful as well, or am I expecting too much from the SA Navy to sink a dead-in-the-water tanker?

      SeJouSe - 2011-09-07 13:10

      Keep in mind that the frigates leaked like sieves and they had no staff to man the subs.

      Darter - 2011-09-07 13:56

      @ SEJOSE - Please go talk sh*t elsewhere. The subs ARE manned. The frigates DONT leak. Go stay in Simonstown for a week and you'd see them in and out of the bay training.

  • 300katoom - 2011-09-07 13:37

    That was a average size vessel +-175m, why do they call it a colossal tanker, VLCC and PANAMAX vessels are big

  • DiDadda - 2011-09-07 14:04

    I snorkeled at Moreton Island, close to Brisbane in Australia, where they sank all the old whalers. They call it the Tangalooma wrecks. The sealife there is amazing. GPS coords 27 09 46S 153 22 06E. SA Maritime can start something like that with all the ships running aground around SA.

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