Six Months After Grounding, Salvage of Kea Trader Continues
The salvage of the grounded container feeder Kea Trader continues at Jurand Reef, New Caledonia, as responders work to remove the remaining containers on board. Eight of 88 containers in Hold 2 have been extracted, then cut into thirds and carried by helicopter to a waiting barge - a time-consuming process. Bunkers have been pumped off, and the risk of serious pollution from petroleum products has been minimized, though small quantities likely remain on board. No sign of pollution have been detected by daily aircraft overflights.
In total, 99 containers remain on board, and almost all of them are empty. Salvors with Ardent Global have already removed nearly 4,600 tonnes of cargo, according to shipowner Lomar Shipping. “Our recovery team continues to work to safely retrieve materials from the vessel while also protecting the marine environment,” Lomar said in a statement. “There is still a considerable amount of work to do, as and when weather conditions allow.”
The Kea Trader went aground on July 12, 2017, just six months after she was delivered, and by September it was clear that she would have to be scrapped. In mid-November, as salvage efforts continued, she broke in two due to heavy and prolonged wave action. Nine salvors were on board at the time and were evacuated by helicopter before she broke up. Lomar Shipping has consistently said that the wreck of the Trader will be removed from the reef, in line with requests from the government of New Caledonia.