Salvors are attempting to remove a general cargo ship that has struck an atoll in the Pacific. They are working with the French Navy to remove 2014-built, 13,110 gt Thorco Lineage from the Raroia Atoll, French Polynesia.
The Philippines-flagged ship grounded on the atoll on 24 June while travelling from Baltimore, US to Hobart, Australia. French naval vessel Bougainville reached the crash site on 26 June to help refloat the ship, which has 18 crew members on board.
In the meantime, a tug has been dispatched from San Diego, US, but will take 10 days to reach the scene. Authorities are keen to remove the ship earlier than that as there is a risk of further damage from the coral reef. A port tug from Papeete could be sent to assist in the salvage.
Thorco Lineage had a cargo of 20,000 tonnes of powdered zinc, and 500 tonnes of fuel oil for propulsion. It suffered engine failure on 21 June but did not send a distress signal until the grounding.
There are worries that this accident could become as serious a salvage task as the Kea Trader removal project. Kea Trader remains stuck in two halves on the Durand Reef, New Caledonia, 11 months after it crashed on to the reef.
Salvage is also underway of container ship SSL Kolkata, which was purposely grounded in shallow water following a major onboard fire. This ship was en route from Krishnapatnam to Kolkata when fire broke out in containers in the Bay of Bengal close to India on 25 June.
Smit Salvage was tasked with refloating the ship and towing it to safety. However, on 25 June, Smit discovered a crack on the upper deck, which prevents it from being refloated. A salvage plan now involves removing SSL Kolkata’s 211 tonnes of fuel and the 464 containers on board.
Crew on board extinguished the fire. Salvage vessel Lewek Harrier has been mobilised from Singapore and tug GS Amrita from Kakinada port in Andhra Pradesh is on the scene with an unnamed platform support vessel. However, according to Vesseltracker, they are unable to get close to SSL Kolkata because of the shallow depth of water.
There will be another salvage project underway in the region after general cargo ship Mutha Pioneer developed a heavy portside list on 26 June and was abandoned. All 11 seafarers were rescued by Sri Lanka Navy ships, but the vessel remained 1.5 nautical miles from Colombo, Sri Lanka.