North Korean Ship Runs Aground in GoM

By MarEx 2014-07-15 16:29:00

Update: Mexican rescue workers were trying to refloat a North Korean vessel stranded in the Gulf of Mexico a few miles from a port where it had planned to load fertilizer, authorities said on Tuesday.

Ricardo Maza, head of the local emergency services, said: "The ship is still there. Today we were hoping there would be better surf to be able to refloat it."

The matter is under the jurisdictions of Tuxpan port authorities, the Mexican Navy and the environmental protection agency.

Federal authorities could impose sanctions on the ship for breaking navigation rules, Maza said. "This ship was going to arrive at the port to load fertilizers, it was empty, and instead of following the established route, it ... ran aground."

Photo Source: http://www.marinetraffic.com/; Photographer: John Wrightson

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A North Korean freighter sailing from Havana, Cuba has reportedly ran aground in the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, roughly 12 kilometers from the Mexican port of Tuxpan.

According to Veracruz authorities, the captain of the Mu Du Bong was “disoriented” when the accident occurred. The freighter was empty, but specialized work will be needed to lift the 6,500-tonne ship from the sea floor.

It was not immediately known how long it would take to free the North Korean vessel.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or other damage. However, environmental officials were still determining if the reef at that location was damaged.

The 1983-built ship passed through the Panama Canal before its scheduled stop in Cuba.

Sound familiar? This incident comes a year after another North Korean vessel, which had been docked in Havana before trying to cross the Panama Canal, was stopped by authorities and found to be carrying undeclared military supplies.