22 December 2011

Cargo ship stranded on Brittany beach will be scrapped where it lies;

Vessel too badly damaged to risk being towed back to sea

The Maltese-registered cargo ship, TK Bremen, which ran aground off the coast of Brittany late last week in high winds and torrential rain now looks set to be scrapped where it lies.

Cargo ship TK Bremen is stranded on the beach at Kerminihy beach at Erdeven, near Lorient, France, on Friday, Dec. 16. High winds have beached the cargo ship off France's Atlantic coast and some of the 220 tons of fuel in its hold is leaking, threatening a local beach.
Preliminary inspections indicated that the vessel, built in 1982, is too badly damaged to be towed back to sea.

A spokesman for the maritime prefecture said: “We can’t take the risk of towing it, as there is a danger of it breaking up and becoming more difficult to remove.

“Strictly-speaking, the shipowner has the right to repair the vessel where it lies,” he added, “but it appears it struck several rocks and its hull has been perforated in several places.

Stranded ship TK Bremen 
“The most probable outcome is that the ship will be dismantled.”

The 19 crew members on board the TK Bremen were airlifted to safety by helicopter and booms deployed to contain an oil spill threatening a nearby beach.

The task of emptying the stricken ship’s tanks of their 220 tonnes of fuel could be completed by the end of the week.

The maritime prefecture spokesman said dismantling the TK Bremen would be a complex operation in what is an environmentally-protected zone. The ship would be cut up and the pieces loaded onto trucks.

Workers clean the beach after the Maltese-registered cargo ship the TK Bremen ran aground on Kerminihy beach at Erdeven, spilling oil from its engines on the coast of Brittany in western France on Dec.
“The objective is to restore the beach and the dunes by [next year’s] Easter holidays,” he added.

The TK Bremen left the Brittany port of Lorient en route to the UK as the storm was gaining strength, and dropped anchor off the nearby Isle de Groix to wait for an improvement in the weather. However, the ship was unable to maintain its mooring in the storm and began drifting towards the coast.

Source: IFW. By Stuart Todd. 22 December 2011

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