Efforts to Refloat Grounded Spanish Minesweeper Continue

The minesweeper Turia aground off Cartagena (social media)

Published Aug 30, 2019 10:44 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Spanish Navy is still working to refloat the minesweeper Turia, which grounded Tuesday near Cartagena, Spain.

The fiberglass-hulled Turia went aground Tuesday morning off La Manga, a narrow peninsula near Cartagena. She suffered hull damage and flooding in several compartments, but no injuries or pollution were reported. 

Salvors began lightering fuel off the vessel on Wednesday, which has reduced the risk of pollution and lightened the ship for an eventual refloat attempt. The salvage plan calls for the use of airbags to raise the ship off the bottom, and the Spanish Navy said Friday that its salvage contractor is at work to implement the plan. 

Fuel lightering continues, and divers have surveyed the bottom surrounding the vessel in order to determine the best route to pull her off. 

The vessel was engaged in a search for a downed Spanish Air Force C-101 training jet at the time of the casualty. The crash killed the aircraft's pilot, Cmdr. Francisco Marín Núñez. As of Friday, about 60 percent of the aircraft's wreckage has been found, according to the Spanish Air Force, including one wing and the tail.