Grain carrier re-floated after 16 days in mud
By Tom Westcott.
The Tasman Sea was stuck in Tripoli harbour mud for 16 days (Photo: Tom Westcott)
Tripoli, 10 February 2013:
The bulk carrier which ran aground in Tripoli outer harbour on 26 January has finally been freed, after spending 16 days stuck in mud.
The 12-year old vessel Tasman Sea was successfully re-floated and was berthed in the port just after two this afternoon, Ferdi Stolsenberg from Marine Technical International (MTI) told the Libya Herald today.
Some 2,800 metric tonnes of wheat was lightered into the Sisu Castor, another cargo ship called in by the Rotterdam salvage firm SMIT that had been tasked with freeing the vessel. The Tasman Sea then floated off the mudbank “naturally by de-ballasting the water ballast tanks with two harbour tugs assisting at the stern,” according to MTI.
A number of unsuccessful previous attempts were made to re-float the vessel by the Tripoli Port authorities and SMIT. Further delays were caused by the lightering vessel Sisu Castor’s journey being severely delayed by bad weather at Alexandria port.
The Tasman Sea will now unload its remaining cargo of some 25,600 metric tonnes of grain.
The ship’s Hong Kong owner, who had previously expressed concern “at the lack of facilities” in Tripoli Port, thanked the port, SMIT and all who helped to successfully re-float the vessel.
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