Kea Trader, which struck a reef off New Caledonia last week, remains aground five days after the grounding incident, however, the ship is stable on the Durand Reef, New Caledonia’s government said in an update.
The crew is said to be working on board with eleven experts from the salvage company Ardent to prepare for pumping of 700 tons of fuel and lubricating oil from the ship, before the ship is refloated in order to prevent it from being spilled into the sea.
As informed, there has been no external pollution detected thus far.
The government added that it has mobilized available resources so as to facilitate the work of the salvage company.
“A specialist salvage team from Ardent has been steadily assembling an increasing number of personnel and support vessels on site, with further resources planned in the coming days. This includes around 25 tons of equipment that arrived by cargo aircraft in New Caledonia from Sydney and the Netherlands, and is being transported to site by helicopter and barge,” Lomar Shipping told World Maritime News in an update.
According to Lomar, this will be a lengthy process but forms part of the initial phase of the full salvage operation.
“Ardent’s work is also being supported by naval architects, marine environment, and other salvage expertise, with a final plan for re-floating Kea Trader due to be put forward to the authorities in the coming days,” the company added.
The newly-built Maltese-flagged Subpanamax ship, owned by Lomar Shipping, ran aground some 100 kilometres southeast of the island of Mare, on July 12.
The vessel had been sailing from Papeete, in French Polynesia, to Nourmea, the capital of New Caledonia, loaded with 750 container units when it grounded with 18 crew members on board, who remained unharmed.
The cause of the grounding is yet to be disclosed.
World Maritime News Staff