Update: Salvage operation – Seawin Sapphire

Aug 20, 2008
Author: P&S

Seawin Sapphire on the beach at Derdesteen opposite Cape Town, now being prepared for salvage. Picture Hermann Hanekom, courtesy L Rip Riphagen

The salvage operation to remove the grounded fishing vessel ‘Seawin Sapphire’ from the beach at Derdesteen (south of Melbosstrand) is being conducted in accordance with an approved Environmental Management Plan and an Environmental Control Officer is overseeing its implementation.

In the past few days, plants located on dunes between the parking lot at Derdesteen and the grounded vessel have systematically been identified, removed, preserved and transported to a temporary and suitable storage facility in Melkbosstrand where they will be maintained until they can be replanted once the dunes have been reinstated. The area affected will be rehabilitated to the satisfaction of the Bio-Diversity Branch of the City of Cape Town.

Meanwhile, technical preparations continue for the removal of the casualty. The 'Seawin Sapphire' will be moved up the beach towards the parking lot in a controlled manner utilising a strand jack pulley system. During the operation, which should begin towards the end of this week, the vessel will be moved approximately 1 metre every 7 minutes and the operation will take place over two days. The vessel will then be lifted onto a flat bed trailer utilising a gantry system and transported by road to the synchrolift in Cape Town.

Members of the public are requested to stay well clear of clearly demarcated areas which are being monitored by security and the City’s Bio-Diversity staff. An area extending some 600 metres away from the operation and including the parking lot at Derdesteen is out of bounds to non-essential personnel until such time as the ‘Seawin Sapphire’ has been removed. Restricted access to Derdesteen is a precautionary measure and has been implemented for reasons of public safety as well as to protect the environmentally sensitive sand dunes adjacent to the beach. Members of the public are thanked in advance by the relevant authorities for their co-operation in this regard.

Two fishing vessels – ‘Weskus I’ and ‘Seawin Sapphire’ ran aground in the vicinity of Derdesteen, south of Melkbosstrand, on the afternoon of Thursday 31 July. Salvors SMIT Marine South Africa were appointed by the vessels’ owner Indo-Atlantic Seafoods Limited to proactively protect the marine environment by removing all possible pollutants from both vessels and then removing the vessels from the beach. All pollutants were removed by the end of Sunday August 3rd. The ‘Weskus I’ broke up on Tuesday 12 August and debris and machinery from this vessel has been successfully removed from the beach.


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