Laden Tanker Stuck in Amazon River Mud

MT Seychelles Patriot (c) MarineTraffic.com/
MT Seychelles Patriot (c) MarineTraffic.com/Prieschka Beentjes

A laden product tanker remains aground in the middle of the Amazon River for a seventh day following futile attempts to free the ship.

The 45,000 dewt MT Seychelles Patriot ran aground on October 8 while underway on Amazon River near Santarém, Brazil to discharge cargo at Manaus City. According to owner Seychelles Petroleum, the vessel ran aground in shifting sand and mud banks in the middle of the river, well within the vessel’s planned route and with two Brazilian pilots onboard as required by the Brazilian Maritime Authority.

So far, there have been at least two failed attempts to free the ship from the mud. After the initial attempt to free the ship under its own power was unsuccessful, a salvage team from SMIT was flown in over the weekend to develop a salvage plan.

A second attempt to refloat the vessel was attempted Monday afternoon using two tugboats, but ultimately the tugs were not strong enough to pull the vessel free and they began experiencing mechanical failure.

A third tug was brought in Tuesday from the nearby port of Santarem and a third attempt to free the vessel was scheduled for Tuesday night, however AIS data from MarineTraffic.com shows the MT Seychelles Patriot still aground in the Amazon River as of Wednesday afternoon.

Seychelles Petroleum insists that the double-hulled vessel remains stable with respect to its structural integrity. The company says it is continuing to work with classification society Germanischer Lloyd, the Brazilian Maritime Authority, the salvage team from SMIT, the Seychelles Maritime Safety Authority, the Santarem Port Authority, as well as the insurance company, as it continues to try to refloat the ship.

The MT Seychelles Patriot is currently chartered by Petrobas.