Salvage crews from Florida
-based Titan Maritime LLC launched their greatest effort yet to float the 880-foot APL Panama
, taking advantage of lunar high tides, a lightened load and new equipment brought down from the United States
. Yesterday's effort moved the bow 10 degrees toward open water, as reported in www.signonsandiego.com.
The vessel has been stuck in sand, parallel to the shore. It ran aground Christmas Day as it prepared to enter Ensenada's harbor. Initial reports states the ship ran aground after failing to wait for a pilot to guide it, but the ship's German owner has said the strong currents apparently pulled the vessel off course as it was waiting for the pilot. The vessel, pounded by waves, had been getting increasingly stuck on this broad beach off a residential neighborhood south of the port of Ensenada.
The load has been lightened in recent days as more than 2,000 tons of fuel has been removed and taken away by tanker trucks, but an additional 1,000 tons remains in the vessel's fuel tanks. With a heavy load on top, crews must be careful about keeping the ship stable, and much of that has been done by filling its ballast tanks with seawater. But to move the ship, some of that water must be quickly expelled to lighten its load.