Emergency response +31 10 454 99 11

On the 8th of August, general cargo vessel 'Kianu Satu', 17,796 DWT, ran aground at Buffels Bay, South Africa. The vessel had experienced engine trouble and consecutively broke loose from an emergency tow. Heavy weather and waves caused the vessel to run hard aground and the crew was taken off shortly afterwards.

SMIT Salvage was contracted on a Lloyd’s Open Form and mobilized the salvage tug Smit Amandla, a salvage team and equipment from the warehouse in Cape Town. The salvage crew was taken on board by helicopter and after an inspection it was clear that several double bottom tanks were breached and bunker oil had started to leak into the ocean. By using SMIT’s hot taps and pumps the oil from the breached lower tanks was pumped into the upper tanks to avoid further leakage from the damaged bottom tanks.    

Thereafter, most of the bunker oil, other lubricants and hazardous materials were removed from the ship in portable tanks by way of numerous airlifts. Meanwhile the 'Smit Amandla' made several pulling attempts by using Dyneema pulling rope for refloating the vessel, but only the heading of the vessel was slightly changed.

Then, a couple of days later during a severe storm with swells of about 5-7 meters, another pulling attempt succeeded and the vessel was towed from where it was grounded to open ocean. The vessel seemed relatively stable with the assistance of the pumps, but nevertheless was heavily damaged. After consultation with the owners and the local authorities the vessel was towed more than 100Nm offshore. During the tow the vessel deteriorated further and before a final position was received, she took in more water and sank to a depth of about 1,000 meters.         

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Emergency response

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Type and cause of accident:
Fire – collision - grounding

Known damage:
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