Latest Update - M.V. PINE TRADER

May 21, 2009
Author: Terry Hutson

The following report was received from the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) this evening

Port Elizabeth, 21 May 2009 - 14 Non-essential ship’s crew were taken off of the stricken bulk carrier PINE TRADER this morning as a precautionary measure as the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and salvage personnel from SMIT Salvage continue to monitor the condition of the casualty. The standby salvage tug ‘SMIT Amandla’ has the bulk carrier under tow and the convoy is presently some 40 miles south west of Cape Point.

Pumping has begun in the ‘Pine Trader’s’ engine room in an effort to de-water this space and additional salvage equipment will be flown to the casualty today from a temporary logistics base in Cape Point Nature Reserve; established with permission from relevant authorities and with due care for the environment. Specialist salvage personnel including two naval architects arrived in Cape Town this morning and will join the salvage team aboard the ‘Pine Trader’.

Yesterday, SAMSA requested that Marine & Coastal Management’s (MCM) Inshore Patrol Vessel ‘Victoria Mxenge’ be dispatched to the casualty to standby. This morning the patrol vessel took 12 non-essential ship’s crew from the ‘Pine Trader’ onboard. An additional 2 ship’s crew were flown off of the casualty by helicopter and have been landed in Cape Town. The ‘Victoria Mxenge’ is currently en route to Simon’s Town where her passengers will be landed before she returns to standby the casualty. The Inshore Patrol Vessel plays a critical role and in the event that the bulk carrier was to sink, she would rescue personnel and then monitor and mitigate any pollution. Co-operation between SAMSA, MCM and salvors is excellent and safety of life and protection of the environment are top priorities during this operation.

On Monday 19th May, the Master of the ‘Pine Trader’ advised the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre that the vessel had lost main engine power and that there was flooding in the engine room.

The ‘SMIT Amandla’ was dispatched from False Bay and successfully connected up to the ‘Pine Trader’ shortly after midnight on Monday, preventing her from running aground in the vicinity of Cape Infanta.

The ‘Pine Trader’ has 220 tonnes of fuel onboard and is carrying a cargo of 20,500 tonnes of bagged rice, destined for Abidjan. The vessel was built in 1979 and has a gross tonnage of 18,322gt. The vessel’s managers are based in Croatia. Source: Capt.Nigel Campbell: Regional Manager: Southern Region, SAMSA



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