Sealand Express update

Sep 8, 2003
Author: P&S

Dredging operations continued today in preparation of the next attempt to pull the grounded container ship clear of Sunset Beach on the spring high tides of 11 and 12 September.

According to the salvors, Smit Marine, dredging will continue as long as possible so as to maximise the efforts of the dredger Ham 316 in increasing the water depth in the vicinity of the Maersk Sealand casualty. These efforts will continue until just prior to the Sealand Express being de-ballasted in preparation for the attempt, when it will become necessary for a tug to be connected up to hold her in place as she becomes lighter.

The salvage tug John Ross and the tugs Pacific Worker and Pacific Brigand will be used during the next attempt.

235 tonnes of diesel (gasoil) remains on board the ship for use by the ship’s generators and main engines. Further consolidation of the unpumpables has taken place (143 tonnes) and only residues remain in the exposed portside wing tanks.

Stress monitors fitted to the ship’s hull continue to register the vessel as being sound – above normal but within the acceptable range, given the grounding forces that the fully laden container ship (about 1030 containers remain on board) is experiencing.

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