Update: Grounded COSCO Bulker to Be Lightered

COSCO-owned bulker loaded with sulfur that ran aground in the Gulf of Mexico on May 26th will have to be lightered in order to be refloated, the United States Coast Guard informed.

The 1996-built bulker Jian Qiang, owned by Cosco HK Shipping, ran aground while transiting outbound from Neches Industrial Park.

The USCG said that owners continue to coordinate with local partners to get the resources on scene as weather permits.  Once the resources are in place they will begin lightering the ship, or off-loading cargo, to make it easier to refloat.

Once the vessel is free, an underwater survey will be conducted to verify no damage to the hull.

“The vessel is stable and remains outside of the channel, approximately 1 mile from buoys 33 and 34,” said Cmdr. Randy Jenkins, the operations section chief in the incident command. “There is currently no danger to vessel traffic as the vessel remains aground outside the channel.  Operations continue to progress in accordance with the salvage plan in place.”

There are still no reports of damage or pollution discharge.  The Coast Guard continues to investigate the incident.

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