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Durban - The port of Richards Bay reopened on Tuesday after heavy swells that caused a bulk carrier to run aground subsided.
Work at the port had returned to normal by 6am, Richards Bay port manager Preston Khomo said in a statement.
Operations were suspended on Monday after the MV Smart run aground as it left the port with 147 650 tons of coal in heavy seas. The National Sea Rescue Institute said there was a 10-metre swell.
The 230-metre long ship was abandoned at 4pm after it started to suffer structural damage. Twenty-three people were airlifted from the vessel. None sustained serious injuries.
“Three salvage crew, one from the South African Maritime Safety Authority and two from marine services group Subtech, are on board the coal carrying ship MV Smart that ran aground yesterday afternoon to make an initial damage assessment,” the statement read.
It is believed that the ship's engine failed as it was leaving the port.