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KPA refloat a grounded vessel laden with containers  

The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and the Southern Engineering Company (SECO) yesterday successfully re-floated a container vessel MSC Eagle F that ran aground due to engine malfunction.

According to KPA the vessel flying a Liberian flag, with a length overall of 143 metres and a declared draft of 9 metres lost her engine as she approached the Kilindini channel. Her last port of call was Port Louis, Mauritius.

The re-floating mission averted a possible marine ecological disaster at the crucial entry point of vessels to the port of Mombasa.

“Salvage tug boat Mwokozi II with a bollard pull of 120 Tons led the afternoon joint salvage operation assisted by Harbour tugs Pate and Nyangumi with 75 Tons and 58 Tons bollard Pull respectively.

The three tugboats safely towed the ship laden with 426 TEUs equivalent to 9709 metric tons into the Port bringing to an end anxious moments following the grounding at 1135 hours on Monday. The channel was not affected, and ship movements went on as usual,” said KPA Head of Corporate Affairs Mr. Bernard Osero in a statement.

SECO tug boat Alpha Falcao was on standby overnight near the grounded vessel in case the crew onboard needed evacuation.

According to marine experts, the easiest and cheapest way to refloat a grounded vessel is to use propulsion, rudder, ballasting/de-ballasting operations, and getting rid of weights.

Naima Issa a Marine Engineer says engines are the main source of propulsion in a ship unless they are overhauled and returned to normal a ship will be grounded.

By Sadik Hassan

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