Salvors Work to Refloat Freighter at Port of Lisbon
Salvors are still working on refloating the freighter Betanzos, which lost power and went aground at the entrance to the port of Lisbon on March 6.
The Betanzos is stranded near the Bugio lighthouse at the mouth of the Tagus River. She is bearing 8,000 tonnes of ceramics-grade silica, 130 tonnes of fuel oil and 20 tonnes of oily wastes. Portugal's National Maritime Authority (AMN) says that the risk of a spill is minimal. Last week, due to a poor weather forecast, the Betanzos' crew and four technical advisers were airlifted off the ship by a helicopter of the Portuguese Air Force.
AMN sokesman Fernando Pereira de Fonseca said that late on Tuesday night, a salvage tug managed to shift the Betanzos 80 meters on a rising tide but could not pull her all the way to deep water. The captain of the port, the shipowner and salvage advisors are studying additional means of refloating her, including potentially lightening her load.
The 2002-built Betanzos (ex name Vasadiep) is an 8,000 dwt freighter flagged in Spain. She has been owned by Galician firm Navigasa since last October.