SALVAGE OF BULK CARRIER UNDERWAY
South Africa - The condition of the disabled bulk carrier Antaios, currently under tow by the salvage tug Smit Amandla approximately 650 miles west of Cape Town, is reported to be stable as preparations for the offshore transfer of 170 metric tonnes of her bunker fuel continue.
The 27 776 DWT bulk carrier Antaios is owned by Amalthia Marine Incorporated of Greece and was built in 1999. It is carrying a cargo of soya flour and corn and was en route to Yemen from San Lorenzo, Argentina.
The Master reported an onboard fire on Thursday, 1 December, which was successfully extinguished. Following later reports of water ingress in the engine room, the Master, Officers and Crew abandoned ship and were recovered and safely landed in Cape Town on Monday, 5 December by the vessel NSU Fortune.
The South African Maritime Authority (SAMSA) requires the Owner to prioritise the removal of the casualty’s bunkers to neutralise any environmental threat before giving permission for the vessel to proceed closer to the South African coast. Until such time as the fuel transfer operation has been completed, vessel surveys undertaken and a comprehensive salvage plan approved, SAMSA has ordered that casualty remain at least 30 miles off.
The multi‐purpose tug Peridot, is currently being mobilised from Cape Town, together with specialist personnel and equipment, and will rendezvous with the convoy of tug and tow and commence preparations for the transfer of bunker fuel and water, which includes the pumping of the flooded engine room and repair of damage sustained.
SAMSA is working closely with all interested parties including Owners and their underwriters to ensure that safety of life and environmental protection remain the key priorities of this operation.