Lengthy process to right listing ship

27 June 2007

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) has been advised that the operation to right the listing bulk iron sand carrier Taharoa Express, could take longer than originally estimated.

Estimates provided to MNZ from on board the vessel today indicate that it could potentially take up to 10 days for the slow, careful process of pumping of excess water from its cargo holds to be completed.┬áThis is due to the vessel’s size and the amount of water contained on board, as well as the capacity of the pumps currently available.

The water is used to help pump in the iron sand and is a normal part of loading operations.

The 275-metre long carrier has been anchored in Tasman Bay, near Nelson, since last Friday evening. The crew have been working since then to right the vessel, after its load shifted in heavy seas near Cape Egmont early on Friday.

The pumping operation has so far resulted in the vessel’s list being reduced to about 11 degrees today.

There are no concerns for the safety of the 25 crew or the vessel.

However, the vessel will not depart until MNZ is satisfied that it is seaworthy.

A further update will be provided if or when the situation changes.

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