Media attention this week turned to Clifton where the 50m, Eihatse Maru ran aground with 40 tons of frozen tuna and between 90 and 110 tons of fuel onboard.
By this morning, due to various difficulties, from the inability to attach properly to tow ropes breaking (twice) to no swell, the vessel was still firmly nestled at First beach. Fifty tons of fuel has been removed from the vessel as a precaution and Dave Colly of SAMSA says that ‘they are restructuring the back to make it strong enough to pull’ and some rough weather is heading our way which will help to lift the vessel. Atlatech and Smit Amandla are assisting.
The vessel ran aground in darkness and thick fog early on Saturday morning. Media reports relate how a witness tried to raise the alarm by contacting the port authority, but was instructed to contact the police. Perhaps better staff training at the port authority could have prevented this maritime mishap or at least allowed the salvage operation to get underway quickly and efficiently? Food for thought.
At this point the stern of the vessel has been strengthened and the plan is to tow her out to sea today. Let us hope that the third time is the charm. (The vessel was removed successfully late Friday afternoon)
PS. The captain’s dog Alley/Ali is still onboard and doing well.
Thankfully the press also picked up on some good news from the maritime industry and devoted a few inches of space to the commendable achievements of Lawhill Maritime Centre. A big CONGRATULATIONS goes out to the Lawhill Maritime Studies programme in Simon’s Town, headed by Brian Ingpen. The programme has been awarded the international Seatrade Investment in People award.
Brian, who has long been a shining light in maritime education, accepted the award in London on Monday. It was awarded in recognition of the programme which helps provide young people with maritime-related skills while they are still at school.
Congratulations Brian and Lawhill! Lovely to see all your hard work recognised and rewarded.