Tuesday, October 8, 2013

As With Recent Container Ship – Bulk Carrier Vessel Finally Succumbs

Resilience Demonstrated by Vessels Despite the Severest Damage to Hulls
Shipping News Feature

SOUTH AFRICA – Almost two months after foundering off Richards Bay in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, the aft part of the Panamanian flagged bulk carrier MV Smart was towed away and scuppered 28 nautical miles out where the water depth exceeds 1,000 metres. The 151,279 dwt vessel ran aground on August 19 and subsequently spilt in two, in an incident similar to both the sinking’s of the MOL Comfort and the Swanland.

She was initially laden with 147,650 tonnes of coal, with approximately 1,600 tonnes of fuel and approximately 120 tonnes of diesel on board when she left the Richards Bay Coal Terminal. In the seven week salvage operation, the vessel was drained of her fuel and a further 10,000 tonnes of coal was dumped in the sea, on top of the 50,000 tonnes she lost upon foundering.

The fact that sections of two vessels, the container ship MOL Comfort and now the Smart have remained afloat, despite being cut in half, demonstrates the resilience now built in to craft of these classes, enabling them to survive semi submerged without foundering for a considerable time.

Photo: A tug stands off the stern section of the ship before she descended to the sea bed.