Tender for wreck removal issued
A tender for the removal of the "Fukuseki Maru No. 7" in the Durissa-Bight near Rondeklip has been issured by the Law Offices of Toda & Co. which will close on May 31, 2019. The Namibian minister for public works andt transport in Namibia, John Mutorwa, initially had advised the Japanese owner to remove the ship untily July 2018. The longliner had run aground on March 22, 2018, in the bight, and all 24 crew members had been taken off by helicopter. The Nippon Salvage Company had in vain tried to refloat the ship with a tug, but abandoned the work on April 9. On April 10 Mutorwa advised to take the wreck to Walvis Bay for disposal in accordance with Namibian laws and ensuring no pollution would take place. Pulling off the ship meanwhile was no longer an option. It was recommended to remove it in sections.
Longliner a write off
The unsuccessful attempts to salvage the "Fukuseki Maru No. 7" were ascribed to the submerged rocky terrain and the extreme sea and weather conditions. The reason for the possible write-off was because the owners and their underwriters of the fully insured vessel are considering declaring a “constructive total loss”, meaning the salvage cost would exceed the vessel's value. If this happens, the operation would transition from salvage to wreck removal, which will be confirmed by a wreck removal order to be issued by the minister of works and transport in terms of the Wreck and Salvage Act of 2004 and the Prevention and Combating of Pollution of the Sea by Oil Act of 1981. The failed salvage operation was led by Japan's Nippon Salvage Company, which was being assisted by various Namibian services such as Bay Air, who are helping with helicopter ferrying between the vessels and the shore, and Walvis Bay Diving, which was assisting with 'on ground' technical support. Initially, only one fuel tank was damaged, and all power systems were intact to propel the vessel and maintain basic functionality on board for the crew, as well as preserve the 75 tonnes of tuna in the vessel's freezer. The situation since had changed, however, with more fuel tanks apparently leaking and the power generators stopping, threatening the preservation of the fish cargo, and making life difficult for the skeleton crew. The engine room and other compartments, including cargo holds, are reportedly flooded. Pumps have been installed to control the flooding, though,. Plans were made to transfer the tuna cargo to another vessel, pumping off the rest of the fuel. An estimated 30 tonnes of fuel was being removed. The marine gas oil that leaked into the sea was a light concentrate, non-persistent fuel that mostly evaporated and dispersed naturally, especially in the high-energy wave zone where the vessel was lying. The leak has since been contained, and no oil pollution has reached the shore. Due to the distance between the troubled vessel and the beach, fishing spots and recreational beaches nearby have not been affected by this incident. A preliminary assessment and review of the circumstances surrounding the incident, in accordance with the International Maritime Organisation code for the investigation of marine casualties and incidents, will be done, and the investigation will focus purely on promoting maritime safety.
Salvage of grounded longliner aborted
The salvage of the "Fukuseki Maru No. 7" which had run aground enroute from Angola to Walvis Bay in the Durissa-Bight, was aborted after a final attempt by the "SA Amandla“ with 200 tons pulling force failed in the evening of Apr 3. After the engine room had flooded and the electriciyfailed, the remaining 13 men of the crew of 24 had been taken off by a Bell 212 helicopter of the Bay Air Aviation, which had been tasked to carry equipment and personell onto the "Fukuseki Maru No.7" which was stuck 1,5 kilometers from the shire and could not be reached by boats due to the high swell. During the last week towing hooks had been welded onto the longliner and a towing wire of some hundred meters length connected to the "SA Amandla". Since then, the tug tried to refloat the vessel with each high tide and increasing pulling force. The lonliner was moving on the reef but could not be freed. Meanwhile the engine room was fll´ooded and at least 50 percent of the tanks breached. It was unknown how much diesel was still on board and what the contents of the reefer rooms were which had been sealed and could keep the freezing temperatures thus for another ten days after the electricity failed.Upload News