The bulk carrier “M/V Los Llanitos” is breaking apart and close to sinking off the Pacific coast of Mexico. For almost nine months she has been stranded on rocks nearby Barra de Navidad, a small town on the western coastline of the Mexican state of Jalisco.
The 223-meter ship ran aground in October after attempting to ride out powerful Hurricane Patricia. The first phase of salvage was completed in November, focussing on the removal of about 11,484 liters of oil, 489 cubic meters of diesel and other contaminants aboard the ship.
Mexican officials initially determined that the vessel was beyond saving, and would need to be cleaned and scuttled in the area. The insurer Marine Solutions, which owns the ship, had 90 days to make the removal, repair, transfer and cleaning the boat; the period ended last January, but the ship was abandoned according to Televisa News.
Today Guillermo Ruiz de Teresa, General Coordinator of Ports and Merchant Marine, told Televisa News that one month ago the main fracture has expanded and fully opened the hull. At the rear of the ship there are two fractures that have grown over the months, the first is about thirteen meters high by three meters wide and the second of about eight meters high by 1.5 meters wide.
Furthermore, there is an opening eight meters wide in the bow.
“There is a high risk that it can break apart and sink” said Guillermo, “the ship is not completely clean. All the fuel was extracted but many contaminants remain and will pollute the ocean when the ship breaks apart… which will be soon considering her condition.”