List reduced on Taharoa Express

29 June 2007

The angle of list affecting the bulk iron sand carrier Taharoa Express has now been reduced to 4 degrees, as the slow and careful operation to pump excess water from the vessel's cargo holds continues.

The 275-metre long carrier has been anchored in Tasman Bay, near Nelson, since last Friday (June 22), after arriving with an 18 degree list (or lean). The crew have been working steadily since then to bring the vessel back onto an even keel, after its cargo shifted in heavy seas near Cape Egmont. The excess water now being drained off is used to help pump in the iron sand and is a normal part of loading operations.

The pumping operation is expected to continue over the weekend.

Once the remaining excess water has been pumped off, Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) inspectors will be carefully checking over the vessel to make sure it is safe before the next phase of the operation can continue.

This will involve the slow and careful pumping of sea water ballast into holds on the opposite side of vessel to the list to even it up. A decision will then be made whether to take the vessel into port for further work.

However, MNZ says the vessel will not move until it is satisfied that it is safe to do so.

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

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