Giant Containership Grounded, Refloated Near Antwerp

By The Maritime Executive 08-15-2017 07:41:09

[Brief] On Monday morning, the 13,300 TEU container ship CSCL Jupiter went aground on the bank of the Westerschelde, near Antwerp. A mechanical failure was reportedly the cause of the accident.

The grounding forced maritime authorities to close the channel to merchant traffic for several hours, but by noon the area was reopened for commercial vessels under about 650 feet in length.  

At 2100 hours the same day, a massed armada of 16 tugboats freed the Jupiter from the mud. Changes in ballasting and a high tide aided their efforts. According to local media, the tugs involved were: Fairplay 4, 14 and 27; Multraship 13, 27, 30 and 31; and Union Kodak, Panda, Emerald, Eagle, Grizzly, Amber, Hawk, SD Salvor and Lieven Gevaert.

As of 2300 hours Monday, the Jupiter was entering Antwerp's inner harbor. Salvors will inspect her for any effects from the grounding. No major damage, injuries or pollution have been reported. 

The accident was reminiscent of the grounding of the 19,000 TEU CSCL Indian Ocean near Hamburg in February 2016. However, the Indian Ocean took several days and considerable effort to refloat – including dredging to remove silt adjacent to her hull.