Knysna cargo ship afloat

2013-08-17 13:26

The cargo ship that ran aground last week near Buffels Bay in Knysna is now afloat, the SA Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) has said.

“At 11.20am today (Saturday) she came off. I am so excited I cannot think straight,” Samsa spokesperson Captain Nigel Campbell said.

The 168m bulk carrier, Kiani Satu, ran aground at dawn last Thursday forcing the captain and his 19-member crew to abandon ship.

It developed mechanical problems in heavy seas while carrying 330 tons of fuel oil and 15 000 tons of rice.

The vessel was moved 70 degrees towards the sea during the week. It had now come off the sandbank and was afloat away from the shore.

Campbell said there were 12 salvage experts on the ship who were managing the boat amid the bad weather conditions.

“The weather is abysmal,” Campbell said.

“We are going to take her 10 miles (into the sea) and see from there what we do next. We have plan A, B, C and D.”

The Knysna municipality said yesterday it planned to airlift about 600kg of spoilt food off the ship.

Joint operations centre spokesperson Athane Scholtz said the food was no longer fit for consumption and would be disposed of under controlled waste removal procedures.

On Thursday, Samsa pumped the fuel oil from the ship’s engine room to higher parts of the vessel. There were no further reports of oil in the water and leaks from the ship.

Campbell said at the time the safest way to remove more than 300 tonnes of fuel oil from the ship was to fly it off in plastic tanks.

Scholtz said over 350 experts were working to address the oil spill, which affected the Goukamma nature reserve and marine protected area.

“Preparations for a major clean-up will only happen once the ship has been removed – once the full impact of the spill has been assessed and the ship is out of the area and no longer a spill risk.

“This is to ensure minimum impact on the environment as continuous removal of little bits of oil is counterproductive and places unnecessary pressure on resources.”

She expected clean-up operations to take several weeks.

Precautionary measures were in place to protect estuaries at Goukamma, Swartvlei, and Knysna.

Scholtz said 35 oiled penguins had been rescued, cleaned, and sent for rehabilitation. There were no reports of bird or animal deaths near the ship.

The joint operation centre thanked the Garden Route and Western and Eastern Cape residents for their donations and offers of help.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.