Cape Flattery Still Aground, Cargo Removal Suspended

Tuesday, February 08, 2005
(Honolulu) Operations to remove portions of the cement cargo from the Cape Flattery, which is aground near the entrance of Barbers Point Harbor, were suspended Sunday afternoon because of unsafe sea conditions.

The Unified Command continues to monitor the efforts to safely remove the Cape Flattery.

Prior to suspending operations, salvage crews were able to remove approximately 30 percent of the granular cement necessary to refloat the vessel. Offloading operations will continue when weather conditions permit. The local crane and barge companies assisting with offloading operations are currently moored at Barbers Point Harbor.

During routine soundings Sunday, the ship's crew discovered sea water in one of the empty fuel tanks. There are still no reports of sheening or fuel pollution in the water. More than 128,000 gallons of fuel oil and lubricants were removed from the ship Saturday. The source of the water is undetermined and the extent won't be fully known until the ship is moved and the hull is inspected.

The Cape Flattery is being ballasted to prevent the ship from bouncing or moving in the tide and sea swells. The ship's company, Pacific Basin Shipping HK, Ltd., is in the process of hiring additional tugs or other vessels to stabilize the Cape Flattery in its current position.

The Coast Guard Cutter Walnut is on scene to enforce the 500 yard safety zone.

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