SABC News - MT Phoenix successfully sunk:Tuesday 6 September 2011

MT Phoenix successfully sunk

Tuesday 6 September 2011 18:02


The hull-tanker MT Phoenix has been successfully sunk more that 2 000 meters below sea. Over the past two days the 180 000 tonne vessel has been filled with water to help it sink in the nearest marine protected area. This is about 80 kilometres offshore from Amanzimtoti, south of Durban 

The vessel was successfully refloated at the weekend after it ran aground on Sheffield Beach, north of Durban in July. Last week, more than 100 tons of fuel was transferred from the stricken vessel.  

"We can confirm that the ship did go down. We have cleared some presence in the area just so that we make sure that there is no debris that comes out and that everything is normal after we've left. We have sunk the ship. We can safely confirm that the ship has been successfully buried now,” says South African Maritime Authority's (SAMSA) Executive Head for Shipping Services, Sobantu Tilayi.

The complex operation has cost tax payers more than R35 million

“Us successfully refloating and disposing of the vessel is a very good thing for us and we are happy that we are able to achieve it with no real pollution or life loss because that always the risk that related to all these incidents that we must manage,” added Tiyali.  

The vessel made her way onto the rocks at Sheffield Beach north of Durban at the end of July and has since been mired in controversy over missing owners and an increasing cost to the South African taxpayer. So far the complex operation has cost tax payers more than R35 million.  

The MT Phoenix was on its way to a scrapyard in India when it got into trouble on the South African coastline.  Authorities have had difficulty in getting the ship's owner to comply with South Africa's Maritime regulations. 

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