French Bulk Carrier Runs Aground in Australia

Friday, June 29, 2001
A French-registered bulk carrier carrying a load of grain from Geelong to Taiwan ran aground in Melbourne's Port Philip Bay on Thursday night, an Australian maritime authority said on Friday.

The fully laden 18,600-ton bulk carrier Mirande ran aground just before 10 p.m. on Thursday after reporting steering problems, said the Marine Board of Victoria.

"There is no environmental problem, no damage to the hull, the weather is favorable, the ship is in sheltered waters and is sitting on sand," a Marine Board chief executive said.

An unsuccessful attempt to refloat Mirande, which has a crew of 18, was made at high tide on Friday morning and another attempt will be made at the night high tide, which is forecast to be at around 9:00 p.m.

The Marine Board said if the second bid to remove the vessel failed options such as the removal of cargo would have to be considered.

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