On February 5, the 100-meter MV LUNO bulk carrier broke up in dramatic fashion after it became pinned against a breakwater off the southwestern coast of France in strong winds. Luckily the 4,600 dwt ship was not carrying any cargo at the time, but the massive pieces of wreckage remain along the shoreline at Anglet beach.
This week, a specialized team from the Dutch companies Svitzer and Koole are on scene and have the green light to kick off the salvage.
According to a report by the AFP, crews are currently at the site preparing for the first stage of removal, which involves the deconstruction of the close-to-shore forward section. The plan call for crews to cut the hulk into smaller pieces and bring them to the beach for removal.
PHOTOS: MV Luno Breaks Up Off France
“After months of careful preparation, the first part of the operation, which involves hollowing out the front part of the boat to lighten and then bring the pieces to the beach to complete deconstruction”, a Anglet city official told the AFP [TRANSLATED].
The second phase of construction will include the removal of the aft section, containing the superstructure, which rests just offshore in a few meters of water.
The third phase will include the cleanup of the seabed and surrounding areas, including a piece from the ship’s mid-section.
The salvage is expected to take 2 months, the report said.
The Spanish-flagged ship was headed for the Port of Bayonne when it lost power in strong winds and rough seas, causing the ship to become pinned against the breakwater in large waves. Early reports that the ship was carrying fertilizer were unfounded. All 12 crewmembers were airlifted by two helicopters prior to the ship breaking up.
MV LUNO Breaks Up: