UPDATE: Modern Express Taking on Water, Further Adrift

The list of the Panamanian-flagged car carrier Modern Express, now at around 50 degrees, is gradually increasing as the vessel continues to drift about 370 km west of La Rochelle, France.

According to the French Maritime Authority, the heavy list indicated that the vessel, carrying 3600 tons of timber and construction machinery, is taking on water.

A Falcon 50 aircraft and an intervention, assistance and rescue tug Abeille Bourbon were sent to keep an eye on the situation, however, due to inclement weather at the site, further investigation of the 10,454 dwt vessel was not possible.

The tug will stay in Modern Express’ vicinity to oversee the safety of maritime activities.

The authority added that SMIT Salvage, a Dutch maritime company, was hired by the vessel’s owner to remove the vessel from this major shipping lane.

Modern Express’ crew of 22 people was evacuated on Tuesday afternoon as the vessel started listing some 148 miles off Cape Ortegal, Galicia, in the Bay of Biscay.

The 2001-built Modern Express, operated by European RoRo Lines, was on its way from Gabon, Africa to Le Havre, France when it started listing.

World Maritime News Staff

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