Salvors refloated the MV Benita Sunday more than a 5 weeks after the ship ran aground off Mahebourg, Mauritius.
As of Sunday afternoon the vessel was being towed to a position some 20 miles off the coast, where a skeleton crew will remain on board in order to assess the vessel’s seaworthiness and general condition, according to international salvage firm Five Oceans Salvage. Appropriate evacuation procedures are in place to ensure the safety of those on board should conditions deteriorate.
The Liberian-flagged MV Benita ran aground June 17 after an incident involving one of the crew members, who reportedly attacked other crew members before locking himself inside the engine room, damaging equipment and resulting in the ship losing propulsion. Weather was factor throughout the salvage, with two tugs connected to the Benita at all times to prevent it from running aground even further.
Prior to Sunday’s re-floating, the salvage focussed on removing the bunker fuel, lubricant oil and other pollutants on board. Cargo tanks and void spaces were sealed before being pressurized prior to the re-floating attempt. Throughout the operation, the protection of the environment remained top priority.
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