Hurricane Patricia Grounds Bulker, Spares Major Mexican Ports

Mexican bulk carrier Los Llanitos ran aground on the rocks near Barra de Navidad, a small town located on the western coastline of the Mexican state of Jalisco, having fallen victim to the Hurricane Patricia on Saturday, October 24th.

Twenty seven crew members of the bulker were airlifted to safety by a helicopter dispatched to the scene by the Mexican navy and are reported to be unharmed.

The 71665 DWT cargo ship had left the port of Manzanillo as it was trying to minimize potential impacts of the category 5 hurricane, the strongest one ever recorded.

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The hurricane hit the Mexico’s Pacific coast on Friday, wreaking havoc on the local coastal communities before weakening into a tropical depression.  The hurricane struck land between Manzanillo and Puerta Vallarta with 165-mph winds but winded down after clashing with mountains further inland.

According to the US National Weather Service, Patricia produced total rainfall accumulations of 8 to 12 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches, over the Mexican states of Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima, Michoacan, and Guerrero on Saturday. These rains resulted in flash floods and mudslides.

Major ports such as the port of Manzanillo seem to have been spared from significant damage, as the port resumed normal operations on Saturday afternoon.

The port of Lazaro Cardenas restarted operations for cargo ships on Saturday morning, and Puerto Vallarta port reopened at midday, Reuters cited Mexico’s communications and transport ministry (SCT) as saying.

The heavy rainfall is moving east into portions of Los Angeles and along the northern Gulf coast into Monday, US NWS said.

According to the US Coast Guard, a tug and a barge grounded off the East Beach in Galveston on Sunday afternoon due to the high winds, which are believed to be remains of the hurricane Patricia, as they were waiting on anchor for the severe weather to wind down.

However, the winds were too strong, stripping the barge from its anchor and pushing it onto the rocks. The barge is reported to be empty and the crew of the two vessels, comprising six people, are said to be unharmed, ABC news reports.

As informed, a rescue operation is to be launched once the weather conditions allow it.

World Maritime News Staff; Images: Mexican Navy

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