ShipSpotting.com
Login: Lost Password? SIGN UP
Ship Photo Search
Advanced Search
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: Cargo aground off Aveiro (Portugal)  (Read 7298 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
jdap
Just can't stay away
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 103


View Profile
« on: January 19, 2013, 01:33:03 pm »

According to the news media, this morning at 8:26 local time during a heavy storm (winds up to 140km/h, waves up to 8 m), a cargo ship registered in the Cook Islands, apparently named "Marlu" (?), went aground on the sand banks next to the S. Jacinto area, off the Aveiro port entrance (which was closed, by the way, for safety reasons). The crew (apparently 6 seamen were on board, of which 5 from Turkey and 1 from Azerbeijan) were rescued by a helicopter, and are all well.

The ship was heading for Lisbon to re-fuel. Apparently the incident happened when the engine room was floaded, and the crew lost control.

News were reported by the head of the local Maritime Police in a radio interview (provided below, in Portuguese):

http://www.tsf.pt/PaginaInicial/Vida/Interior.aspx?content_id=3002997

No photos of the grounded ship are available yet.
Report to moderator   Logged
jdap
Just can't stay away
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 103


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2013, 04:22:16 pm »

The Portuguese Navy website now reports that the ship's name is "MERLE" (IMO: 8918306), and confirms the rescue of the crew:

http://www.marinha.pt/PT/noticiaseagenda/noticias/Pages/SalvamentodetripulantesdonaviomercanteMERLEaposencalhe.aspx

Photos of this vessel are available here:

http://www.shipspotting.com/gallery/photo.php?lid=1511419
Report to moderator   Logged
holedrille
Just can't stay away
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 118


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2013, 04:49:44 pm »

Was not this one of the fleet laid up in Hull for some months following the bankruptcy of their owner. This would be the first trip under new ownership. Oh dear!
Holedriller
Report to moderator   Logged
jdap
Just can't stay away
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 103


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2013, 02:28:21 pm »

Yesterday was Sunday, and many onlookers took adavantage of the milder weather to explore the area where the ship is grounded. A Portuguese newspaper has published several photos of the area and of the ship stuck on the sandy bank. Ship photos are included in the following photo set, starting at photo n 13:

http://expresso.sapo.pt/romaria-a-descoberta-do-barco-encalhado=f780909
Report to moderator   Logged
jdap
Just can't stay away
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 103


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2013, 10:23:00 am »

Those with interest in hydrographic research may wish to take a look at the news item below, published at the website of the Portuguese Navy, and reporting oceanic buoy measurements during the heavy storm that was with all likelyhood the main cause for the grounding of the MERLE on Saturday morning (19/1):

http://www.marinha.pt/PT/noticiaseagenda/noticias/Pages/Registadasondasde19metrosduranteotemporaldofimdesemana.aspx

The 4 charts provided are of particular interest.

The vessel went aground between Leixões and Nazaré, roughly half way between the two locations.

Wave heights recorded for those two locations were the following:

           Mean value (m)              Peak value (m)
Leixões       9.7                           15.6

Nazaré       12.0                           19.4

These values are absolutely abnormal along the Portuguese West coast, and were recorded during the morning of the 19th.

They may help explain why a 84 m long cargo vessel, unloaded, could not make it through, even if only a formal investigation will be able to assess the real causes of the incident (for instance, to determine how the engine room got flooded in the first place).
 
 
 
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 10:43:30 am by jdap » Report to moderator   Logged
jdap
Just can't stay away
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 103


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2013, 09:35:50 am »

I visited the site on the 14th Feb.

A set of photos of the grounded vessel is now available in the database. Please refer to:

http://www.shipspotting.com/gallery/photo.php?lid=1745307

The ship is roughly 4 miles to the North of the Aveiro port entrance. The coastal area where she was washed to during the storm of the 19th January is formed entirely of sand dunes, so the ship does not present any serious damage to the hull, as a result of this accident. It is buried in sand maybe 1,2-1,5 m deep. She is practically level, with a slight tilt to starboard. The propeller shaft is buried and not visible at all, and the propeller itself is for 2/3 of its diameter stuck in sand. The rudder seems to be the major cause for concern, as it is off its vertical plan, at an angle of some 15 to the vertical axis.

The ship is on dry land during low tide. Being the tidal amplitude in the area of about 3 m, I assume it should be in water during high tide (not confirmed).

A salvage plan has not been presented by her owners yet. That plan has been demanded by local authorities, and the owners have 1 month to produce it, so it should be available before the end of this month.

During my visit I noticed the area was deserted. There were signs of an excavator having removed some sand off the sloping sand dune nearby, forming a half moon to the East were she could eventually turn
more easily during high tide, in case she could free herself (which I doubt very much).

In any case, and if I am allowed to speculate a bit, removing her should not be too difficult. It may require some substantial earth moving around her, to form a pool, and then the making of a small canal perpendicular to the shore line. She will need to be pulled away (pushing from the land side during high tide does not appear to be feasible) probably by 2 tugs using long cables (200 m minimum) and forming a 30 angle between them. A fulcral point on the sand behind the ship's stern (ideally planted to the S-SE) may be needed to help steering her from land and keeping her perpendicular to the shore line. I do not believe she can help during the manoeveur, so her engine should be kept off during the push.

Once freed, she can easily be towed to Aveiro, where there are shipyards at hand.

Breaking her on site is of course always an option, but if I had a saying in this decision, I would vote against it because of the potentially high environmental damage the work (and the associated traffic) would do to the area (a natural reserve park).

Report to moderator   Logged
BarrySmith
Not too shy to talk
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 26


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2013, 09:46:43 am »

Very interesting. The salvage costs would almost certainly exceed the insured value making her a CTL. The first priority should be to pump the bunkers and luboils off and any other potential pollutants such as paint etc. Does anyone know if she has a cargo onboard or was in ballast?
Report to moderator   Logged
jdap
Just can't stay away
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 103


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2013, 10:16:29 am »

An unfortunate story...

MERLE was apparently on her first voyage after having been released by the British authorities after having been arrested at Hull for several months on court orders (owner's bankruptcy).

At time of the accident, she was reported sailing empty and on low fuel (a bunkers stop had been programmed at Lisbon, further South, if I remember correctly).

Press reports from the time of the accident indicated that the risk of a direct environmental hazard at the scene was modest, as she had only 10 tons of potentially harmful fluids on board. In effect, protection barriers had initially been dispatched to the scene after she went aground, but I could not see any trace of them almost 1 month later. This probably meaning that authorities did not believe she posed a threat to the local environment per se.

In any case, I was surprised to see that even the entire crew had vanished.
Report to moderator   Logged
jdap
Just can't stay away
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 103


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2013, 01:38:12 pm »

The end of the story: she is now dead.

http://www.shipspotting.com/gallery/photo.php?lid=1893441
Report to moderator   Logged
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  


Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Page created in 0.044 seconds with 19 queries.
Copyright © 2010 All rights reserved