The affordable education loan option
Johannesburg - A coal-carrying vessel ran aground at the Port of Richards Bay on Monday, according to Port authorities.
“Whilst leaving the Port of Richards Bay at 2.10pm today (Monday) the vessel MV Smart, carrying 147 650 tons of coal, ran aground off the Port’s entrance channel,” said Captain Rufus Lekala, the Chief Harbour Master of Transnet’s National Ports Authority (TNPA).
He said the vessel finished loading at Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) at approximately 10.10am on Monday and sailed from the terminal just before 1.30pm.
At the time of the incident, the vessel was no longer under TNPA pilotage.
It is said the vessel experienced engine failure upon leaving the Port.
“Three TNPA tugs tried to assist the vessel but to no avail. The vessel has buckled and broken in two and is partly submerged,” Lekala said.
Twenty-three crew members, including the master of the vessel, were airlifted to safety by a TNPA helicopter.
TNPA said it was closely monitoring any impact on the environment and there is no anticipated economic impact on the Port of Richards Bay.
“The entrance channel is safe for shipping. However, due to current adverse weather conditions, ingress and egress to the port has been suspended until further notice,” he said. - Sapa