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Author Topic: Cargo 'Betanzos' aground while leaving Lisbon harbour  (Read 4114 times)
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jdap
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« on: March 06, 2018, 11:28:54 am »

Spanish flag cargo 'Betanzos' (IMO 9263552), with crew of 10 aboard, went aground at Bugio (Tagus river South entrance) last night, and is currently stuck on a sand bank. Reason for the casulaity appears to have been a sudden energy blackout onboard while on her way out, that stopped all systems, including the engines, leaving the ship without command.

An attempt to remove the vessel safely is scheduled for 6pm today (high tide) with the help of several port tugs.

The casualty is in the Portuguese news. For example:

http://expresso.sapo.pt/sociedade/2018-03-06-Navio-espanhol-encalhado-junto-ao-Bugio

(article in Portuguese)

Jose
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« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 11:33:39 am by jdap » Report to moderator   Logged
davidships
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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2018, 03:18:01 pm »

Has there been anything published on why this type of occurrence seems to be becoming more prevalent.  There could be a variety of causes, including
  • over-reliance on single integrated electrical and control systems
  • decline in quality or resilience of electrical/electronic systems
  • equipment not designed to be maintainable at sea, only replaced en bloc
  • reductions in onboard spares inventories
  • lack of manpower or skills onboard to allow proper maintenance and fault-finding
  • time pressure from short turnrounds, not allowing proper technical preparation before safety-critical manoeuvres, especially when berthing/unberthing or port entry/departure
  • and no doubt many others, in varying combinations
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jdap
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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2018, 11:04:58 pm »

Thank you very much for your interest on this subject, David.

I am sure your list contains all possible root causes for what was described by the press here as a "major blackout onboard the ship".

I have no further news, at least from official, bona fide sources, so I can only possibly speculate, and I prefer to avoid doing that. In all honesty, I do not know what caused this fatal crash of the major onboard systems. Might it have been inexperience on the part of the new ownership or the present crew? Lack of proper procedures, lack of training and misaligned control systems, for example... Or cost cutting affecting maintenance... Maybe, but I do not know, and I cannot tell. I have no info.

I went to the area myself this afternoon, and found 4 Lisbon harbour tugs standing by near the Bugio Lighthouse (Svitzer and Rebonave vessels). Punctually at 6pm they gave a try to pull the ship out, and from the North river bank she appeared to have moved some 300m or so after 20 minutes. Looked like a good sign. I left at sunset, so I did not witness their efforts at night. Maybe by now they have already taken her out. In any case, if they were successful at rescuing her, she has probably by now been towed back to Lisbon, to be taken for a complete inspection at a shipyard, probably NavalRocha. Once there it will probably finally be possible to get a full report with the main causes of the incident. And then we can draw conclusions.

By the way, I found another Portuguese news item that has 3 excellent photos taken this morning by a professional press photographer at the actual site of the casuality:

http://www.tvi24.iol.pt/sociedade/06-03-2018/navio-com-bandeira-espanhola-encalhado-junto-ao-bugio

I also took a few shots there today, but from the distance mine are not likely to show much...

Best regards,

Jose
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davidships
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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2018, 11:38:06 pm »

Thanks Josť for the update and the links.
This is the one I am watching: https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:-9.301/centery:38.659/zoom:15

The position of BETANZOS looks unchanged, with the SIRIUS and MONTE DA LUZ sitting off, perhaps awaiting tide?  RIA FORMOSA keeping an eye on things, presumably this one:
http://www.shipspotting.com/gallery/photo.php?lid=2336336
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davidships
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2018, 11:08:10 am »

No apparent progress on refloating yet.
Tug CASTELO DE SINES has come up from Sines, now with MONTE DA LUZ and MONTEVIL.
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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2018, 06:02:13 pm »

Thanks for following up this salvage, David.

Vessel still stuck in the sand bank. Second attempt at 6am failed to release her.

Next try scheduled for this afternoon, to start between 6 and 6:30 pm (next high tide).

A new storm is hitting the Lisbon area this afternoon, so waves are likely to increse by then. Wind gusts may also complicate matters a bit. According to the last report I heard over the radio, they'll try to pull her out this time with 2 lines, one at the bow (as before) and a new one at the stern. A more powerful tug will also be employed.

The major problem appears to be the distance, as the vessel is at maybe close to a mile away from where the tugs are working (to ensure sufficient water depth under their keel), so the lines are long, and that does not facilitate the traction effort. Too much energy is perhaps wasted along those lines before it reaches the stranded vessel for a full pull effect.

By the way, I'll upload shortly some of my shots from yesterday. Nothing too special, though. Just for the record.

Best regards,

Jose
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Timsen
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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2018, 09:30:10 am »

Salvage postponed to MArch 9:
http://rr.sapo.pt/noticia/107570/navio-encalhado-junto-ao-bugio-aguarda-rebocador-de-gibraltar
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Ricardo Bruno
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« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2018, 11:04:44 am »

Maybe the more powerful tug will be the Fairmount Alpine (IMO 9344784):

https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/shipid:257725/mmsi:245164000/imo:9344784/vessel:FAIRMOUNT_ALPINE
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« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2018, 05:23:40 pm »

Latest news:

An even stronger storm is due to hit Lisbon tonight and maybe continue throughout the day tomorrow, so for precautionary reasons, all aboard the 'Betanzos' were removed this afternoon by a SAR helo of the Portuguese Air Force, and taken ashore, for a total of 14 people (10 crew, 2 members of the Dutch salvage company hired by the ownership to oversee salvage operations, and 2 representatives of the Owner who had come on board after the grounding). All are fine.

The big tug from Gibraltar appears to have arrived already in Lisbon, but it is not certain when she is scheduled to resume the towing attempts of the stuck vessel, in light of the worsening weather forecasts for the casualty area.


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« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2018, 06:15:12 pm »

Thanks for the update.
An uncomfortable period in prospect for the two tug crews standing by (I suppose RIA FORMOSA will gracefully withdraw for the worst of it)
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Ricardo Bruno
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« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2018, 09:41:28 am »

Here it's possible to see a live image of Betanzos stranted in Lisbon:

http://beachcam.meo.pt/livecams/praia-da-torre/
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victor radio74
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« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2018, 03:07:51 pm »

Obrigado for the link,just now a clear image
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davidships
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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2018, 10:00:41 pm »

They seem to be struggling a bit with this one!

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victor radio74
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« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2018, 10:06:03 pm »

Yes indeed,it seems some crew is again on board http://beachcam.meo.pt/livecams/paco-de-arcos/
« Last Edit: March 14, 2018, 10:07:35 pm by victor radio74 » Report to moderator   Logged
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« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2018, 10:04:04 am »

Latest news on this saga:

Indeed, not an easy salvage operation. Getting her out and refloating her again is not going to be an easy task (IMHO).

The monster tug and the reinforced traction line that was brought to the scene have been in place for two days. A fourth attempt at freeing the vessel was made at high tide last Monday night, and she appeared to have moved some 80 meters. For that they had to cut the anchor chain, which was left buried in the sand, as it was impossible for the crew to pull her up out from the immobile, grounded ship. Since then other attempts have not produced much results - the vessel is buried in the sand, and does not move.

They are now considering taking out the ship's cargo, before attempting at pulling her out again. However that will also not be an easy task. The vessel is fully loaded with natural aggregates, which will require heavy duty cranes in place to take them out. And no vessel can come alongside, without risking grounding on the same sand bank. Flat bottom, keeless barges of a large size are not present in the Lisbon harbour. Besides, they may not be able to endure the rough seas that are being felt at the Lisbon harbour entrance. Where the vessel is, there is no natural protection, and the waves are high, so a flat bottom barge may easily break during the cargo transfer operation...an added risk the salvage team will need to consider.

Meanwhile, and as time passes, and with big storms hitting the area at least once a week, the risk of the ship's hull breaking increases. This may entail a fuel leakage, with all the unwanted environmental risks the spillage will bring. There are some 150 tons of fuel on board.

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