Grounded Tanker Refloated
Wednesday, December 20, 2000
A grounded Norwegian oil tanker carrying 450,000 barrels of crude oil was re-floated near the Venezuelan coast and left for the U.S. Tuesday night, authorities said. The SKS Tagus, bound for the U.S. port of Delaware, reportedly ran aground on in the Maracaibo shipping channel in western Venezuela after a problem with the steering, Reuters reported. "She was successfully re-floated and left last night," a shipping source said. The accident did not close the channel, which carries almost a million barrels of Venezuelan oil exports daily, because it occurred 180 meters outside the channel. The 53-mile (85-km) Maracaibo channel has been relatively accident-free since 1997, when four tankers ran aground because of insufficient dredging, one creating the worst Venezuelan oil spill in recent memory.