Large Containership Runs Aground on Dutch Sandbank, First Salvage Attempts Fail

By MarEx 2011-09-19 21:07:51

Dutch maritime authorities have confirmed that an extremely large containership has ran aground on a sandbank near the Belgian border and efforts are feverishly underway to set the ship free.

A representative for Zeeland Region Safety, Aart Oosten, reported to AFP that the 360-meter-long MSC Luciana ran upon a sandbank in the Westerschelde, a large sea channel connecting the Antwerp port with the North Sea.  Oosten continued that the ship is well, although truly stuck, as attempts to pull her loose have already proved unsuccessful. 

PHOTO CAPTION: MSC Luciana, photo courtesy of VesselTracker.

The MSC Luciana ran aground at approximately 8:30 am (0630 GMT), and the efforts for removal became more difficult with the receding low tide.  Oosten stated that there are several groups meeting with the Dutch maritime authorities to see how they will proceed with setting free the Panamanian-registered vessel.  gCaptain reported that among the salvage groups involved, Multraship and URS are leaders in the efforts.

Oosten continued to say that, so far, the Luciana poses no threat to the environment and her crew remains on board. 

It is unclear the exact plan of action to remove the MSC Luciana from one of the world’s busiest sea lanes.  The vessel remains stationary just 87 miles southwest of Amsterdam.