Tanker still stranded near Durban

2011-07-27 18:45

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.

  • ChrisW - 2011-07-27 18:25

    Hopefully tax payers money won't be used for the recovery. Owners and insurance must pay or scrap the boat here in SA to pay for it.

  • Worldwise - 2011-07-27 20:37

    You mean to tell me it was drifting for three weeks after an engine failure before it ran aground? Nobody was informed? The maritime authorities were unaware of a derelict tanker drifting in the shipping lanes and close to the coast? @ ChrisW. Just where in SA do you propose it be scrapped if it can be recovered? It not a boat but a huge flippin' tanker dude! You wanna drag it into a scrapyard or do you propose cutting it up on a beach somewhere? It'll cost you more than the scrap value, never mind the environmental damage to the beach. I wish those with limited maritime knowledge would refrain from commenting about maritime issues.

      White Wolf - 2011-07-27 22:25

      Yussus boet, choon them to leave your hobby alone charna. If they dont just klap them boet! PS. We have some pretty big metal scrappers in SA. Scaw metals would most probably jump for joy if they got the opportunity to scrap a ship and they'd most probably arrange for it to be done in an environment friendly way because they know that a ships worth of scrap metal is worth a hell of a lot of money. I wish those with limited scrapping knowledge would refrain from commenting about scrapping issues. ;)

      Worldwise - 2011-07-28 07:16

      And just where are you going to find an empty dry dock in South Africa to put the ship in to cut it up White Wolf? These docks are booked well in advance. Why do you think not many ships are scrapped in SA? It's not my hobby, it was my profession for over 30 years. Now go hook up another pranged VW Chico with your tow truck.

      Sickly - 2011-07-28 08:20

      Wow relax. You'd probably do well to read a bit more about the situation. They don't know who owns the boat and therefore no insurance and hence SA tax payers will foot the bill. They pump out the fuel and if they can't tow it they'll have to scrap it on the beach.

  • Etienne - 2011-07-28 06:43

    Hey, the thing obviously just wants to stay there. Why not just pay off the owner who's about to scrap it and turn it into a bar or hotel or something? Anyone up for fronting some capital? I have none but I do have clear eyes, wet nose and shiny coat.

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