Progress Made on MSC Flaminia But Port Access Still Not Granted

MSC Flaminia burning on July 17.

Firefighting crews have continued to make progress on the burned out MSC Flaminia while salvage experts have been successful in reducing the listing of the vessel, the vessel’s management company, Germany’s Reederei NSB, said Monday. Still, however, no news yet on when or where the vessel will be able to enter port.

According to the latest update, the salvage team have used a recent window of good weather to stabilize the vessel by pumping water from the cargo holds into the ballast water tanks. By now, MSC Flaminia is listing by just 2.5 degrees, down from a maximum 10 degree list in the days following the explosion and intense firefighting efforts. Meanwhile firefighting experts have been able to board the MSC Flaminia thus allowing teams to individually inspect containers and extinguish flames or hot spots.

Despite the seemingly good news, no permission has been granted yet from any port that will allow the vessel to enter and continue salvage operations.  Permission can only be given by authorities of European coastal states.  Therefore MSC Flaminia, along with accompanying tugs, are currently holding a waiting position approximately 240 nautical miles off the coast of the UK, Reederei NSB says.  The company is hopeful that the reduced list will help authorities grant permission soon.

“I consider it shocking that in this situation a ship under German flag does not receive a permission from the European countries to call at a port,” said Helmut Ponath, CEO of Reederei NSB.

Weather conditions worsened Monday, again forcing the suspension of the operations until the weather improves, the company said.