Bad Weather Hampers ‘Flinterstar’ Salvage Off Belgium
Oil removal operations from the wrecked Flinterstar off the coast of Belgium were halted for a third straight day Thursday due to weather.
Dutch ship owner Flinter reports that high winds and an unfavorable sea state has prevented divers from entering the water since Tuesday morning.
The 129 meter Flinterstar has been half submerged on a sandbank since October 6th after it collided nearly head on with the Marshall Islands-flagged LNG Al Oraiq in the North Sea near Zeebrugge, Belgium. The 122,000 DWT Al-Oraiq, managed by K Line LNG Shipping (UK) Limited, was also damaged, but was able to continue to its destination of Zeebrugge with the help of a tug.
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All 11 crew members plus 1 pilot made it off the Flinterstar safely, but an estimated that 100 tons of oil was released from the vessel following the accident.
Flinter has contracted SMIT and Multraship to pump the remaining oil from the vessel.
The Belgian Coast Guard says that oil removal operations may not resume until Saturday due to continued bad weather at the site.
The approximately 9,000 DWT Flinterstar was built in 2002 and is flagged in the Netherlands. The ship has been declared a total loss.
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