A bulk carrier is stuck on a shoal off the west coast of Sweden with a 3-meter gash in its hull after running hard aground Saturday night, the Swedish Coast Guard says.
The 190-meter ship was en route from Rostock, Germany to Guinea in West Africa with a cargo of wheat when it ran aground at about 11:30 p.m. local time Saturday night off the coast of Varberg, Sweden. The vessel was also loaded with 1,000 cubic meters of heavy bunker fuel and 200 cubic meters of diesel, the Coast Guard said.
The Coast Guard did not provide the name of the ship or the flag state, although gCaptain has learned that the vessel in question is the Liberian-flagged MV Victoria.
A dive inspection on Sunday revealed a three-meter gash in the hull of the vessel and confirmed it is hard aground on a shoal. So far no pollution has been reported.
The Coast Guard says it is working with the owner of the vessel, the Swedish Transport Agency and a commercial salvage team to prepare a salvage plan for the ship. Salvors are hoping that after removing the ship’s fuel, the vessel can then be pulled free. The plan may also call for the removal a portion of the ship’s wheat cargo, the Coast Guard said.
At least three Coast Guard vessels were involved in the initial response and a fourth arrive on scene Sunday. A salvage vessel has also been contracted and was en route as of Monday afternoon, the Coast Guard. Coast Guard overflights have so far been unable to detect any oil spills.
The Coast Guard adds that a criminal investigation has been launched and is focussing on the Master and officer on watch at the time of grounding. A breathalyzer test returned negative results, the Coast Guard said.
A spokesman for the Coast Guard said that they hope to pull the vessel free by the end of the week.
Photos courtesy Swedish Coast Guard