The 273 meter long, 151279 dwt bulk freighter Smart went aground on a sandbar off Richards Bay, South Africa. The bulk freighter had finished loading its 147,650 tons of coal at the terminal at Richards Bay when left the harbour. The Smart only travelled a short distance when its engines failed. The heavy swells pushed the bulk freighter onto the shallows. The Smart suffered a massive crack and eventually broke-in-two by the following day. All 23 crew were rescued by NSRI helicopter crews. No reports of injuries.
Authorities state they are fearing the worse case scenario as the vessel had 1,500 tons of heavy fuel oil and a large quantity of diesel fuel. Some pollution has already been spotted and clean up operations have begun.
Reports state the vessel did not have a pilot on board when it left the harbour. The vessel’s owners, Esmeralda Schiffahrts, has stated that clean up operations will be covered by the company and its insurers.
Donations to assist the National Sea Rescue Institute can be made at: http://www.nsri.org.za/ways-to-support-us/give-a-donation
- South Africa: 23 Rescued After Ship Aground Near Richards Bay (theepochtimes.com)
- Bulk Carrier MV Smart Breaking Up After Running Aground in South Africa (gcaptain.com)
- Ship aground near Richards Bay (shippingtribune.com)