Update: Distressed MV Cheshire under Tow to Gran Canaria

Bibby Line’s troubled bulk carrier MV Cheshire is being towed to Gran Canaria as of August 21, over a week after an overheating incident in the ship’s cargo holds.

“On August 21, the salvors managed to get a tow line attached and the Cheshire is now under tow and heading towards Gran Canaria at a speed of around 3.0 knots. As of August 22, the ship is in position 26 23.9 N 019 07.9W heading North East. The plan is to proceed to a position 50 miles South West of Gran Canaria,” the company said in an update.

The 56,597 DWT-bulker, loaded with a full cargo of fertiliser, experienced elevated temperatures in cargo holds 4 and 5 on August 12, while underway from Norway to Thailand to discharge.

The vessel arrived at around 15.00 hours on August 13 at a safe position 45 miles south of Gran Canaria, as the vessel was scheduled to stop in Las Palmas to take on bunkers.

Resolve Marine has been hired to conduct salvage operations, and the cargo manufacturer has sent four representatives to Las Palmas to advise on cargo cooling.

“Resolve Marine has been on station alongside the vessel since August 16 but failed to get on board due to adverse weather conditions and the heat and fumes being generated from the affected holds.

Holds 4 and 5 have now cooled down as the process of decomposition is believed to have completed, but holds 2 and 3 are still decomposing and emitting fumes, while hold 1 is presently stable,” the update read.

The vessel had been drifting in a south westerly direction away from any landmass.

Following the incident, the crew was evacuated from the vessel for their own safety and have been flown home, all except the second engineer, who is said to be assisting the salvors.

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