Tanker still stranded near Durban
Cape Town - Salvage engineers will begin pumping 400 tons of fuel from the derelict tanker Phoenix on Thursday after it ran aground at Salt Rock, north of Durban, Captain Nigel Campbell from the South African Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) said on Wednesday.
Campbell said that Phoenix, en route to India where it is to be scrapped, experienced engine failure three weeks ago.
The ship ran aground on Tuesday morning after bad weather brought up 4m swells, pushing the tanker closer to the shore after the anchor chain keeping it stationary broke.
The skeleton crew of 15 was airlifted to safety by an SAAF helicopter as a precautionary measure.
"They are safe in a hotel in Durban and will soon be transported back where they came from," said Campbell.
"We are having operational meetings twice a day to determine how we are going to get this tanker moving again."
"The engineers are currently on board Phoenix, looking at the internal structure of the vessel to make sure where to connect the salvage tug, without causing further damage to the tanker," he said.