Concern growing over crippled bulker

Mar 17, 2004
Author: P&S

The situation involving the crippled Singapore-registered bulker CSK Tribute (156,537-dwt) remains uncertain after initial attempts to plug the underwater gash in the ship’s hull proved unsuccessful. (See our News Report dated 13 March 2004)

The ship was on a voyage from Brazil bound for China with a full cargo if iron ore when a L-shape hull fracture measuring 2m x 2m became apparent. The ship closed with the Mozambique coast near Quissico (north of Maputo opposite the Imhambane Province) where divers attempted underwater repairs.

With the ship having taken on water and developed a draft almost one metre beyond her maximum of 17.6m, concern is being felt particularly with the current uncertain weather in the Mozambique Channel (it is cyclone season).

The only suitable deep-water ports where repairs can be carried out along the Eastern and Southern African coasts are Nacala in northern Mozambique and Saldanha Bay. Anchorage in Algoa Bay is another possibility, but the latter two alternatives both involve a lengthy voyage along the notorious South African Wild Coast. Meanwhile the salvage tug Nikolay Chiker is reported to have sailed from Cape Town to render assistance.

It seems likely therefore that repairs will be undertaken at Nacala where the possibility of using a cofferdam to replace the damaged steel plates becomes possible.

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