Update: First Attempt to Separate Collided Ships Fails

collisionImage Courtesy: Maritime Prefecture of the Channel and the Mediterranean/Perfecture Maritime de Mediterranea

The first attempt to pull apart the Tunisian Ro-Ro ship Ulysse from the hull of Cyprus-flagged containership CLS Virginia was unsuccessful, the Maritime Prefecture of the Channel and the Mediterranean said in an update.

The two ships have been stuck in the same position since Ulysse rammed into the anchored boxship some 28 kilometres north-west of Cape Corsica three days ago.

The RoRo attempted to pull away slowly from the boxship, trying not to cause any further damages to its hull.

The manoeuvre was being assisted by two tugs, however, without luck.

CLS Virginia sustained significant damage to its starboard side from the impact of the collision. Namely, the ship’s hull has been ruptured resulting in a hole of several meters.

The collision resulted in the breach of the containership’s bunker tanks causing a fuel spill, which was heading toward the beach of Corsica.

Based on the latest update, the oil strip has since shifted direction and is moving away from the coast.

Since Sunday morning, the activities on cleaning the spill have been underway. As informed, the pollution currently covers an area of 25 km divided into 7 discontinuous sections.

Assistance is also being rendered under the Ramogepol accord between France, Italy and Monaco on joint action in cases of maritime pollution.

There are seven Franco-Italian anti-pollution ships at the scene responding to the spill.

Experts appointed by the shipowners as well as those mandated by the Maritime Prefecture will study other modes of action for the coming days.

World Maritime News Staff

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