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Fuel Lightering Begins for Grounded Freighter on Sardinia

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The CDRY Blue, December 26 (video still courtesy Guardia Costiera)

By The Maritime Executive 01-02-2020 10:27:00

Lightering operations have begun for the stranded freighter CDRY Blue, which ran aground on a rocky shore in Sant'Antioco, Sardinia on December 21. Smit Salvage has been appointed lead salvor and is overseeing the work in cooperation with the Guardia Costiera and the local port authority. 

The pollution-prevention plan calls for bunkers and other petroleum on board the CRDY Blue to be pumped into special containers on deck. When filled, the containers will be flown off by helicopter. The process is expected to take several days; once defueling is complete, attention will turn to lightering off the ship's cargo and the salvage of the vessel herself. 

One spill response vessel and two patrol boats are standing by at the scene to monitor for signs of pollution. The Guardia Costiera has conducted multiple dive surveys of the seabed under the CRDY Blue's hull to monitor her condition. 

On December 21, the bulker CDRY Blue went aground on a rocky shore on the coast of Sardinia, forcing the evacuation of her crew and the launch of a pollution-prevention effort.

According to local media, the CDRY Blue was seeking shelter from stormy weather when she went aground on a shoal between Porto Sciusciau and Capo Sperone, in the Sant'Antioco area of southwestern Sardinia.

Upon receiving a report of the grounding, the Cagliari Harbor Office launched an effort to rescue the crew. It dispatched two patrol boats and one helicopter from the Guarda Costiera to the scene. Due to unfavorable conditions and 50 knot winds, the helicopter aircrew was not immediately able to hoist the seafarers off the vessel. The following morning, it returned and managed to rescue all 12 members of the CDRY Blue's crew.