UPDATE 2 FROM SAMSA:
On or about Sunday 15 of July 2012 the Chinese registered ship AN JUANG JIANG, IMO No. 8414960, lost deck cargo overboard in the vicinity of Jeffreys Bay. The vessel was en route from Durban to Lagos. The ship’s captain advised the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre of the event. Navigational warnings of the hazard were then broadcast.
It is understood that some 5 units, consisting of containers and cylinders, were lost overboard, 4 pieces of the cargo have been washed ashore and one piece is believed to be still floating in the vicinity.
The floating part of the cargo is considered to be a danger to navigation, especially to small fishing and recreational vessels which operate in this area and the cargo on the beach is a danger to the general public.
To date owners have failed to communicate with the Authority their intentions of how these dangers are to be mitigated, even though the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) are in contact with the owners’ insurer’s representative in South Africa.
Owners have been issued with a Directive, in terms of section 18 of the Wreck and Salvage Act, requiring them to immediately put in place a plan, which requires the approval of SAMSA, to remove all the cargo both ashore and afloat emanating from the vessel.
In the event that owners fail to react to the Directive, SAMSA will initiate the steps to mitigate the dangers and recover costs from the vessel’s owners.
Executive Manager: Southern Region
Wednesday, 18th July, MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) confirmed that in total five containers, one of which was found washed ashore near to the Gamtoos River Mouth yesterday, were washed off the deck of the Chinese Ship Anguan Gjing, sailing from Durban to Nigeria, over the past weekend in heavy sea storms, between Port Elizabeth and St Francis Bay, as she sailed on her voyage.
The containers were reportedly lost overboard the ship over a period of a few days over this past weekends heavy sea swells.
Maritime navigational safety warnings were broadcast by Maritime Radio Services warning of the navigational hazard to shipping in that vicinity.
Today, Wednesday, 18th July, Police located a further three containers, two washed up in the same vicinity as the one from yesterday and one has washed up near to St Francis Bay.
The outstanding one container is either still adrift at sea or it may have washed ashore on a remote location and may not have been discovered yet.
MRCC has confirmed that all 5 containers are empty and present no environmental or health risk (it may be suspected that normal sea water could have now leaked into the containers).
No decisions have been taken yet by Maritime authorities on the salvage of the containers which are in remote areas on barely accessible stretches of coastline.
ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE FOLLOWS….
Rieghard Janse van Rensburg, NSRI Jeffrey’s Bay station commander, said:
“On Tuesday 17th July, at 09h15 NSRI Jeffrey’s Bay duty crew were called out following reports from the St Francis Penguin Rescue of a whale stranded that had washed up on the beach between the Kabeljous Beach and the Gamtoos River Mouth.
“Our Jeffrey’s Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crew responded aboard our Discovery rescue quad bike and on arrival found an unidentified large cylindrical shaped object about 6 meters long and 2 meters in diameter. Admittedly, from a distance it did look like a whale.
“Maritime authorities, local police and the Municipal Disaster Management have been informed and they will inspect and identify what the container is and evaluate what risk it poses and assess how to dispose or recover the object.”
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