Breaking news... Trawler breaks up

Aug 12, 2008
Author: P&S

Picture: Glenn Kasner, SMIT Marine South Africa

Cape Town, 12 August 2008 - As a result of continual wave action over the past 10 days, the grounded fishing vessel 'Weskus I, broke up today.

Debris from the vessel is in the process of being removed from the beach by the on-site salvage team from SMIT Marine. All fuel was removed from the vessel within three days of the grounding. Heavy pieces of equipment from the vessel will be moved to the high water mark tomorrow and then transported from the beach.

Two fishing vessels - the 'Seawin Sapphire' and the 'Weskus I' - ran aground in the vicinity of Derdesteen, south of Melkbosstrand, on the afternoon of Thursday 31 July. The vesselsí owner Indo-Atlantic Seafoods Limited appointed SMIT Marine South Africa to proactively protect the marine environment by removing all possible pollutants from both vessels. The Owners have appointed contractors who will utilise a winch arrangement to pull the 'Seawin Sapphire' up the beach towards the parking lot at Derdesteen in a controlled technical operation for which necessary equipment is already being mobilised. The vessel will then be lifted onto a flat bed trailer and transported by road to the synchrolift in Cape Town.

This method is deemed to be the most appropriate manner in which to remove the remaining vessel from the beach and was agreed upon yesterday by all parties, including relevant local authorities. It is anticipated that this operation will commence towards the end of next week.

A full environmental impact assessment will commence this week to ensure that the operation will have as little impact on the environment as possible and that where sand dunes are affected, suitable rehabilitation plans will be put in place. Owners are in the process of appointing consultants to undertake the EIA.

* see our related news report in the 3 August News Bulletin 



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