The Final Days of the Kiani Satu Bulk Carrier [16 PHOTOS]

On August 8th, 2013, the geared bulk carrier Kiani Satu was pushed aground in Buffels Bay, South Africa after suffering a power failure in heavy seas. She was carrying a cargo of rice and was heading for Ghana.

Rescuers from the NSRI, as well as salvors from SMIT and authorities from the South Africa Maritime Safety Administration quickly responded.

The ship would eventually be pulled from the beach, but the ingress of water resulted in her sinking far from shore on August 21, 2013, just as another bulk carrier, the MV Smart, found herself grounded and breaking up along a different beach in South Africa.

Image: NSRI
Image: NSRI
Image: Bianca Bezuidenhout, Wilderness NSRI crew
Image: Bianca Bezuidenhout, Wilderness NSRI crew
kiani satu
Image (c) Alix Carmichele via @rachelemexicali (twitter)

The wave action eventually cracked the hull, spilling upwards of 10 tons of heavy fuel oil on to the beach.

kiani satu oil spill
Image (c) Alix Carmichele via @rachelemexicali (twitter)
kiani satu aground
Image (c) Penny Foyn

While salvors did their best to shift fuel internally to stop the oil spill, the ocean-going tug SMIT Amandla used her 200,000 pounds of pull to turn the ship into the waves.

smit amandla tow kiani satu
Photo courtesy of Department of Environmental Affairs, taken shortly after 13h30 on 14 August 2013
kiani satu
Image via Alan Winde
kiani satu
Image via Kynsna Municipality
kiani satu
Image: NSRI
kiani satu
Image: NSRI

It wasn’t until a strong gale moved through the area that the surf became large enough to help lift the vessel from the seafloor.

south africa weather forecast

SMIT Amandla, image: NSRI
SMIT Amandla, image: NSRI

During high tide on August 17th, the SMIT Amandla broke the Kiani Satu free and pulled her clear of the beach.

smit salvors south africa
Salvors from the SMIT Amandla upon returning to shore on 17 August
smit amandla kiani satu track
Image courtesy Windward Maritime Analytics Services Company

With flooding unable to be controlled within the ship, the SMIT Amandla was towed south as fast as possible with hopes that she would sink in deep, cold water which would minimize any future environmental consequences.

smit amandla
SMIT Amandla towing the Kiani Satu on 18 August 2013, Picture courtesy of Captain Ian Carrasco
kiani satu under tow
Kiani Satu under tow, southbound toward her destiny… image courtesy Captain Ian Carrasco

On the morning of 21 August, she sank 110 miles south of South Africa in 1000 meters of water.

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