Stormy seas hamper ship refloating

2013-08-15 07:28
(Western Cape Government)

(Western Cape Government)

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Cape Town - Stormy seas and tides are complicating efforts to refloat a stranded cargo ship off the southern Cape coast from which oil has already spilled, maritime authorities said on Wednesday.

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) was to try to refloat the bulk carrier Kiani Satu near Knysna in the evening, according to spokesperson Nigel Campbell.

"Plan A is still to take the vessel off the coast and remove it to the sea. Plan B is to drill into tanks to take the oil out," he said.

"We estimate that between 35 and 40 tons of oil has so far leaked and apparently there is no leak anymore," he added.

The environment ministry said the damage was limited.

"Eleven oil-drenched birds were found but there should not be much damage. The impact on environment will be minimal," said Zolile Nqayi, environmental affairs spokesperson.

The 165m vessel registered in Antigua and Barbuda suffered mechanical failure in stormy swells around 6km west of the Goukamma river mouth last Thursday.

It was carrying 330 tons of fuel and 15 000 tons of rice.

The 19 Filipino and Ukrainian crew members on board were airlifted to safety.
Read more on:    samsa  |  cape town  |  environment  |  maritime

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