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Stranded Panama-registered vessel freed after 18 days

2018/02/21 23:30:34

Photo courtesy of Maritime and Port Bureau

Taipei, Feb. 21 (CNA) A stranded Panama-registered vessel "Hang Yu 11," which ran aground off Zhuwei Fishing Harbor, Taoyuan on Feb. 3, was finally freed Wednesday, according to the Maritime and Port Bureau (MPB).

According to a press release issued by the MPB on the same day, workers made use of the afternoon's full tide and strong waves to deploy the tug boats "Salvage Champion" and "Salvage Ace" with 10,000hp and 9,000hp, respectively, to free the "Hang Yu 11."

The vessel, which has a gross tonnage of 2,998 tons, ran aground in strong winds and high waves. The MPB called 11 emergency meetings with related organizations in an attempt to implement necessary rescue and pollution containment measures.

The shipowner was asked to immediately carry out clean-up operations along the shore, remove residual oil and repair the hull.

However, the failure of the shipowner to submit a plan to free the vessel before a deadline resulted in it being fined in accordance with The Commercial Port Law.

On the first day the vessel ran aground, the ship's crew reported that roughly 1,000 liters of grease leaked from the ship, said the MPB, adding that relevant agencies immediately launched pollution containment and clean-up work.

Personnel were dispatched to monitor the area and inspect the daily progress of clean-up work, said the MPB.

The MPB also instructed the shipowner to remove any oil still on the ship, which was completed by Feb. 9, after technicians were moved onto the ship by crane.

The towing of the vessel was repeatedly delayed by bad weather in northern Taiwan while waves pushed the ship up against the port's water breakers and onto tetrapods resulting in further damage, including to several cabins, the pump and engine rooms.

The additional damage made towing the ship more difficult but the vessel was finally removed Wednesday, preventing further environmental damage to the area.

(By Wang Shu-fen and William Yen)
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