The 67 meter long tug Salvilliant had the new barge Margaret under tow and was headed to Rotterdam, Netherlands. The Margaret was a new 100 meter long, 500 ton barge. The Margaret had left Shanghai, China with 12 river barges and two dry docks. The cargo sat 8 stories high and worth some US $40M.
On June 24, 2009, the two vessels were off the Cape, when they encountered a severe storm with gale force winds and waves reaching 9 meters. The storm was too much and the towline parted. The Margaret went adrift. The crew of the Salvilliant attempted to reconnect the line, but were not able to before the Margaret was hard aground near the village of Jacobsbaai (Jacobs Bay).
The Margaret sat in its location as wind, waves and weather beat against the hull. By November 2009, four river barges were damaged beyond repair while the Margarets hull deteriorated. By February 2010, attempts to free the barge had all failed and the owner was out of money. This left the Margaret under the responsibility of the South African authorities. They decided that that the Margaret needed removal and hired a demolition firm. On March 5, 2010, the Margaret was finally destroyed by explosives. It took some two and half tons of explosives to blast the wreck. Some of the cargo was saved. Six of barges slid off the vessel and were towed away. The remainder was sunk to form an artificial reef.
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