Richards Bay wreck cleaned

2013-09-03 23:14
(Daryl Visser Photography)

(Daryl Visser Photography)

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Richards Bay wreck closes beach

2013-08-27 09:06

The beach near the vessel wreck on Richards Bay's coast has been closed for surfing, swimming and fishing. Watch.WATCH

Durban - Environment-damaging fuels have been all but removed from a bulk carrier which ran aground off Richards Bay harbour, the SA Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) said on Tuesday.

Almost 80 tons of diesel was removed on Monday, said Samsa east coast manager Captain Saroor Ali.

Most of the oil aboard the vessel had also been removed, save for a small amount needed for the generators being used in the salvage operation.

The 230m long vessel was laden with 147 650 tons of coal when it ran aground outside the port in heavy seas on 19 August. It broke apart between hatches six and seven.

The entrance to the port was not blocked and operations there resumed the next morning, once the heavy seas had abated.

Plans were being made to remove as much coal as possible from the Panamanian registered vessel before it was taken to a suitable "burial ground" 65 to 75km southeast of Richards Bay.

Aerial reconnaissance had established that a "black plume" seen in the water near the ship was coal dust and not oil.

Samsa had taken statements from the crew and Transnet National Ports Authority staff on duty during the ship's ill-fated bid to leave port.

Ali could not give an immediate indication when the investigation would be completed.

"The aim is not to apportion blame. It is to determine a chain of events that happened on that day as to what went wrong and to prevent it from happening again in the future," he said.

Read more on:    samsa  |  durban  |  maritime accidents

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