Grounded Bulker Breaks Up and Partially Sinks
The grounded bulker New Mykonos, which went aground off the town of Faux Cap, Madagascar earlier this year, has broken in two and partially sunk, reports local news. Only a portion of the wheelhouse, stack and stern remain above the surface.
"The New Mykonos is carrying 160,000 tons of coal. The hull of the ship was punctured at the sandbar where she ran aground," said an on-scene responder, speaking to L'Express Madagascar in March. Her bunker tanks remained intact.
The response vessels Mermaid Vanquish, Raptor, and Peridot were chartered to respond, and were on scene as of early March. However, due to the deterioration of the New Mykonos' condition and the damage to her hull the refloat attempt had to be halted. Salvors still managed to lighter her bunkers, purge her hydraulic circuits and mitigate the possibility of pollution, and authorities do not expect risk of a spill.
A majority of her coal remains on board, and the government is reportedly asking the owner and insurer for the vessel to pay for the removal of the cargo. Scientists with Madagascar’s environment ministry are concerned that sedimentation of coal dust will clog coral polyps, leading to “death for coral colonies and associated sessile fauna. Also the brightness problem is not to be overlooked for solar cell organisms. . . that need light for photosynthesis," they said. Lightering of coal is planned for this winter, when weather conditions are generally more favorable.
The wreck itself will likely remain in place.
The location of the grounding is similar to that of the ill-fated Gulser Ana, which found a bank off Faux Cap in 2009 and partially sank with 40,000 tons of raw phosphates, 550 tons of fuel oil and 65 tons of diesel aboard, allegedly disrupting a whale migration season. Fishing in the area was banned for three months.