Special tug boat from Port of Salalah to assist vessel stuck off Kenyan coast

Muscat - 

A specialised tug boat has already left the Port of Salalah to assist in re-floating a vessel stuck in the Indian Ocean off Kilifi coast in Kenya. The boat is expected to reach on Sunday even as a team of marine specialists try to salvage the ship.

Captain William Ruto, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Harbour Master who is also in charge of marine operations, said the 14,400 horsepower boat from Salalah port would be used in the event, the operation is not successful.

Mt Theresa Arctic was sailing from Port Keelang in Malaysia to Mombasa when she ran aground off Kilifi on June 20 some 55 nautical miles northeast of Mombasa. There were no reports of injuries or water pollution in the area following the incident.

Running aground is a term used to describe a ship veering off course and getting stuck in shallow waters. The vessel is loaded with 46,000 tonnes of vegetable oil and some of it will be transferred to another ship, Mt Theresa Dumai, currently anchored next to her. Efforts to re-float the vessel using two Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) tug boats failed due to bad weather and rough seas.

“We hope to commence the exercise over the weekend when the sea is expected to be calm. But if this does not succeed we will use the more powerful tug boat to hold the vessel to position as more than 15,000 tonnes of cooking oil is transferred to Mt Theresa Dumai,” said Capt Ruto. KPA tug boats have 4,000 horsepower. In a statement last week, Bernard Osero, KPA head of corporate affairs had said the authority had sourced the tug from Salalah port.
According to Andrew Mwangura, a marine consultant, the salvage operations were not successful even with assistance from a Mozambican tanker.

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