APL Panama Still Aground

Thursday, January 19, 2006
APL Panama remains aground on soft sand some 1.5 nm south east of the entrance to the port of Ensenada, Mexico. Salvors have succeeded in maneuvering the bow of the vessel some 20 degrees towards deeper water over the past week, in order to assist the next re-floating effort. The APL Panama remains structurally intact and secure and it is hoped that another concerted effort to re-float her can be made toward the end of next week, when tide conditions are more favorable. This next stage of the operation will utilize powerful hydraulic pulling machines which will double the capacity of the strong tugs already standing by the vessel. In the meantime, the salvors have succeeded in transferring the fuel oil to a bunker barge at the port of Ensenada. Specialist anti-pollution contractors have been hired by the salvors, and are on permanent standby throughout the operation, where they will remain until the vessel is safely re-floated. The grounding occurred while the APL Panama awaited the Ensenada Pilot on December 26. The Master was not attempting to enter port without a pilot, nor was the vessel behind schedule and trying to make up time by deliberately approaching nearer the shore than she should have. An enquiry into the grounding is being conducted by the Mexican authorities, which the owners, MS ‘Mare Britannicum’ Schiffahrtsgesellschaft mbH & Co+ KG, are fully cooperating with.

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