09 June 2005

Oil to be removed from stricken ship

The South African Maritime Safety Authority has made contingency plans to deal with a possible oil spill from the bulk carrier Kiperousa, aground off the Eastern Cape coast.

As a salvage ship from Cape Town headed to the area, measures were being put in place should estuaries need to be closed off in the event of an oil spill, said National Ports Authority spokesperson Terry Taylor.

A rescue was launched on Tuesday when a mayday signal was put out by the vessel after it apparently struck an object about two nautical miles offshore, south of Hamburg.

It was not clear what the ship was lodged on, but it could be a rock, Taylor said.

Most of the crew were transferred to a rescue vessel and taken to land.

However, poor weather hampered efforts.

The salvor would pump fuel off the ship to make it as light as possible and attempt to float it out to sea where further repairs could take place.

The Malta-registered vessel was sailing from Gabon to Durban.

Source: www.iol.co.za


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