Video: Bunker Tanker Refloated off Malta
Salvors from a ship repair yard in Malta have finally refloated the small bunkering tanker Hephaestus, which went hard aground in a storm near Qawra in mid-February.
No injuries or pollution resulted from the grounding, and damage to her hull was repaired in preparation for the refloat attempt. The salvage crew worked to bring the ship off the rocks by pushing it from the shore side with hydraulic jacks and pulling with a tug.
The Hephaestus was pushed ashore by wind and waves in a sudden gale on February 10, the day that St. Paul is believed to have been shipwrecked on Maltese shores in 60 AD. After the grounding, the vessel's master said that he had never experienced such severe weather. "I started the engine and began preparing to navigate the vessel inland, but all of a sudden - within minutes - we hit the rocks," Capt. Joynal Abedin told Times of Malta.