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Grounded bulker off South Africa suffers structural failure

Grounded bulker off South Africa suffers structural failure
A capesize bulk carrier ran aground off South Africa's Richard's Bay on Monday and suffered a structural failure.

The captain of the Greek-owned, Panama-flagged, 151,279-dwt Smart ordered his crew to abandon the ship after he believed that the “structural integrity of the ship was compromised”, according to a statement from South Africa-based National Sea Rescue. All 23 crew were heli-evacuated safely to shore.

Three tugs were deployed to pull the vessel free of the sand bank after she appeared to have been pushed onto it while exiting port under rough seas of 10-metre swells.

“South African Maritime Safety Authority are enroute to investigate and begin evaluations to save the ship,” National Sea Rescue said.

The incident on Monday was the second grounding of a commercial vessel off South Africa after the Kiani Satu bulk carrier ran aground near Buffels Bay on 8 August. The vessel was refloated two days ago.