Capesize bulk carrier Smart in full load ran aground and broke in two, Richards Bay
Greek capesize bulk carrier SMART ran aground on a sandbank off Richards Bay entrance channel at 14:10 LT Aug 19 13, reported NSRI, SAR. Vessel loaded with 147 650 tons of coal left Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) just before 13:30 with pilot on board. Vessel was bound for Fangcheng, China. Reportedly, SMART ran aground due to mechanical failure, in adverse weather condition with strong wind and sea. Tugs tried to pull vessel free, but failed. At about 16:00 cracks in a hull in middle section area emerged, vessel actually broke in two, and master requested an evacuation. 23 crew was airlifted by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) helicopter, no injures reported. Vessel is stranded off the channel, but traffic is temporarily suspended. Nationalities of the crew unknown.
All picture full-sized can be viewed at: NSRI Flickr Page http://www.flickr.com/photos/searescue/
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