U.S. Coast Guard: Lightering of 900-foot Tanker Successful
On March 6, the SKS Satilla crew reported that the tank ship was suffering an 8-degree port list due to an intake of water into the ship’s ballast tanks. The tank ship was reported to have approximately 41 million gallons of crude oil on board. SKS Satilla, apparently struck a submerged object which the U.S. Coast Guard has identified as the sunken hull of the ENSCO 74.
GALVESTON, TX (11 March 2009): Lightering operations that were monitored by Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Galveston personnel were successfully completed on the 900-foot tank ship SKS Satilla this afternoon, 65 miles south of Galveston.
The SKS Satilla has offloaded all of its cargo and is currently stable after sustaining damage to a large area along the port side of the ship’s hull below the waterline. Divers are on scene to remove a portion of jagged metal from the hull, and the ship will have a final assessment from engineers before being released to make repairs.
At approximately 8:20 am Friday, March 6, the SKS Satilla crew reported the tank ship was suffering an 8-degree port list due to water flooding into three of the ship’s ballast tanks. The tank ship was reported to have approximately 41 million gallons of crude oil onboard.
"Thanks to the efforts of a unified command, comprised of multiple agency representatives and maritime industry experts, over 41 million gallons of oil were safely offloaded from the damaged tank ship SKS Satilla. The vessel will now transit to a shipyard to make repairs," said Cmdr. James Elliott, commanding officer of MSU Galveston.
A unified command consisted of the following organizations:
• National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
• Texas General Land Office
• United States Mineral Management Service
• United States Coast Guard
• SMIT Salvage
• The O'Brien's Group
• American Eagle Tankers
• ENSCO Offshore Company
• SKS Obo Holding Limited