Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Salutary Lesson as Bulk Freighter Offloads Cargo Following Stranding

Tale of an Expensive Mistake is Warning for Ships Captains
Shipping News Feature

MOZAMBIQUE – SOUTH AFRICA – On the 3rd March the MV Akiba, a 57,200 dwt bulk freighter owned by A M Nomikos, suffered a fate every Master dreads and, complete with her cargo of 49,000 tonnes of aluminium oxide, she ran aground offshore of Maputo. A salvage operation was initiated by Greek salvage company Five Oceans Salvage under a Lloyd’s Open Form and Netherlands towing group Fairmount Marine was contracted to in initiate a rescue.

The tug Fairmount Glacier, one of five of Fairmount’s fleet with a 205 tonne bollard pull, was mobilized from Cape Town, South Africa and upon arrival at the scene the salvage plan was formulated between the masters of Fairmount Glacier and the supra class Akiba, together with the salvage master.

On the 8th March the 190 metre long casualty, which was only launched last year, was refloated at the second attempt and the bulk carrier was towed to an assigned safe anchor position where the damage to the ship was determined. The tug stood by and following inspection was asked to tow the Akiba toward Richards Bay, South Africa where the alumina was eventually offloaded. After discharge operations had been completed Fairmount Glacier towed Akiba onward to Durban, where she went into dry-dock.

Fairmount Glacier remained on stand-by in Durban during the dry-dock operation of the Akiba, following which the salvage vessel has now been relieved from her duties and commenced mobilisation towards her next assignment.

Photo: The Glacier backs up toward the stricken freighter.