Salvors Wait for High Tide and Bigger Seas to Help Free the Kiani Satu

kiani satu aground
Image (c) Penny Foyn, click for larger

Amateur photographer Penny Foyn from South Africa sent us this image yesterday of the grounded bulk carrier Kiani Satu taken with her Olympus OM-D E-M5. Settings: f/11, 1/800 sec, ISO 320, 300mm. Image taken 9 August.

Update 14 August:

The salvors have been putting a strain on the tow line twice a day during high tide, however the weather and seas have not been in the right combination to help lift the ship clear of the seafloor. The bow has been turned seaward however, and they will try again in the morning.

Earlier update 13 August:

Salvors had planned to pull the geared bulk carrier free today, however the swell conditions were not high enough to provide the needed lift on the vessel to help free her.

I spoke with Captain Nigel Campbell this morning, who is leading the salvage effort on behalf of the South African Maritime Safety Authority, and he notes that the 200-ton bollard pull tugboat latched on to the Kiani Satu at high tide this morning and pulled at 100 percent power from about 0600 to about 0800, yet during that time, the bow swung to seaward only about 10 degrees. He notes that the salvors predict that 4 meters of swell is needed to help lift the vessel while the tug makes their next attempt this evening. The sea-state this morning was relatively calm.

A 4 meter swell is a good thing, and a bad thing for the Kiani Satu. Captain Campbell added in our conversation that no significant deterioration of the hull has occurred, but the 4 meter swell predicted this evening could potentially change that.

Or, it could be just the amount of sea needed to help free her from the beach. We’ll know more this evening during their next attempt.

The following local news report from South Africa gives us some details on the oil spill situation: