Crane Removes Containers to Aid Vessel

Thursday, February 09, 2006
According to the reports, a container vessel APL Panama, stranded since Christmas Day off an Ensenada beach, now has its own jetty. Salvors commissioned the 500-ft. rock-and-sand ramp and hired a giant crane to carry containers ashore. The operation is the latest in a series of attempts to lighten the ship's load and get it floating again. Weighed down by cargo and pinned in by sand, the 880-ft. The ship was on a trans-Pacific route, and its cargo included electronic components for Baja California manufacturing plants as well as parts for car factories in central Mexico. The delay in delivery prompted Nissan, the Japanese car manufacturer, to stop producing vehicles for three days last week at its Aguascalientes facility. Led by Florida-based Titan Maritime LLC, salvage efforts since the grounding reportedly have succeeded in moving the bow 35 degrees, about a third of the distance necessary to pull it away from shore. A major effort late last month involved six tugboats and a barge equipped with hydraulic pullers, with a combined capacity of more than 80,000 horsepower. The Baja California construction company Amaya Curiel y Cia S.A. de C.V. built the jetty. Leaders of the salvage effort had hoped they wouldn't have to resort to the land-based operation. They initially relied on a Sikorsky Sky Crane helicopter to remove some of the lighter containers from the ship. But many of the boxes weigh more than the helicopter's 20,000-pound carrying capacity. Titan Maritime executives have told local officials that they are also hoping to bring in a more powerful helicopter, a Russian-made Mil-25 to lift the heavy containers. Source: San Diego Tribune
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