03 September 2011

MT Phoenix finally refloated:

The MT Phoenix has finally been refloated and begun her journey to deeper waters. The vessel started moving with the help of two tugs. The South African Maritime Authority's Executive Head for Shipping Services, Sobantu Tilayi, says today's success comes after more than a month of planning and three failed salvage operations. 

The vessel landed onto rocks at Sheffield Beach, north of Durban, at the end of July. Tilayi says nature assisted in refloating the vessel. 

"You needed high water which is the tide and then you needed the swell which is the wave action. And we had that coincidence this morning. High water was 7 o' clock but we thought we would start preparing to float at around half 05H30 or 05H45. Which is what we did and we were lucky because God was on our side today," says Tilayi

Three locations have been chosen as possible sites to sink the vessel

Tilayi added that three locations have been chosen as possible sites to sink the vessel. He says the Phoenix will be over 2 000 metres under the sea within 24-hours.

"She is stable now we can confirm that she is going to be sunk at the ideal position, which is 78 kilometres from the nearest land piece, south of Durban, around about Amanzimtoti. And then we're going to start sinking. She should go down very quickly because she is taking water in the engine room,” highlighted Tiyali.

Source: SABC. 3 September 2011

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