Efforts to remove about 1000 tons of fuel oil and 200 tons of diesel from a bulk carrier that ran aground off Richards Bay harbour were underway on Wednesday.
Most salvage vessels had arrived and the priority was to get all fuel and pollutants off the MV Smart, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) said in a statement.
The 230-metre vessel was laden with 147,650 tons of coal when she ran aground outside the port in heavy seas on Monday afternoon. The entrance to the port was not blocked. Once the heavy seas abated, operations at the port resumed on Tuesday morning.
Twenty-three crew members were airlifted in four sorties from the stricken vessel late Monday afternoon. None of them suffered serious injuries.
According to the TNPA the vessel had broken apart between hatches six and seven. Its fuel was safely contained and there was no immediate threat of leakage. Apart from where the vessel had broken apart there were no other signs that she was taking on water elsewhere. -Sapa