Stricken Cape Africa taken in tow

Apr 29, 2004
Author: P&S

The Taiwanese bulk ship Cape Africa (149,533-dwt) has been taken in tow by the salvage tug Smit Amandla and at 10.30 this morning (Thursday, 29 April 2004) was about 150 n.miles southwest of Cape Town awaiting an inspection team.

According to SAMSA the ship will not be allowed closer than 120 miles until all fuel oil, believed to consist of about 1,900 tonnes, has been removed. Meanwhile a team of surveyors is flying to the ship this morning by helicopter to assess the damage and decide whether repairs can safely be undertaken.

According to some reports all crew have meanwhile been taken off the vessel and are safely on board Smit Amandla, but another report said a small emergency crew had remained on board.

The damage is thought to consist of two shell plates of approximately 20m in length and 2.4m in width that had sheered off the side hull. As the damage is reported to be about 2m below the waterline this can presumably be confirmed only when divers are able to go on board the vessel.

Cape Africa, which is owned and operated by U-Ming marine of Taipei, is carrying a cargo of iron ore from Brazil and was bound for Japan. The ship was built in 1991.

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