Salvage Gets Underway for Bulk Carrier Wrecked in Mexico

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Mexican officials are just getting to work on the effort to clean up and scuttle a bulk carrier that wrecked along the country’s rocky Pacific coastline last month during Hurricane Patricia.

According the environmental authority PROFEPA, work has begun to prepare the ship for the removal of all 11,484 liters of oil, 489 cubic meters of diesel and other contaminants. As of this week, a helicopter and barge were on scene to begin the work of removing hazardous materials from the ship – things like paints, solvents and batteries – and to prepare for the arrival of a vessel from Panama that will be used to transfer the oil.

The agency says that no oil spill has been detected since the initial grounding.

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The 223-meter, Mexican-flagged bulk carrier has been pinned against rocks in Barra de Navidad in Jalisco since Friday October 23rd when it ran aground after attempting to ride out powerful Hurricane Patricia. Prior to the incident, the ship was at the nearby port of Manzanillo, but it left from port prior to landfall of the powerful Category 5 hurricane – which turned out to be strongest hurricane ever recorded on earth. All 27 crew members were evacuated from the vessel without injuries.

Authorities have decided that the ship is beyond repair and will need to be scuttled in the area.

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The entire operation will obviously be dependent on weather, and the fear is that more storms will hit the coast and cause further deterioration of the ship.

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A new (grainy) drone video released this week by PROFEPA gave an up close look at damage to the hull of Los Llanitos. Taking into account that damage, as well as the severe hogging and placement against the rocks, let’s hope the weather holds for a while. The video is below: