Thorco Lineage Refloated But Remains Adrift in French Polynesia

thorco lineage grounding
Photo: Marine Nationale

The general cargo ship Thorco Lineage has been towed off of the atoll in French Polynesia where it ran hard aground last Saturday, but as of Thursday, the ship was once again adrift after the tow line parted.

French officials report that the Thorco Lineage was refloated on Tuesday with help from the multi-mission vessel Bougainville. However, about an hour after the vessel was refloated, the tow line separated, leaving the cargo ship adrift.

A second attempt to connect to the vessel on Wednesday failed.

Photo: Marine Nationale

An update on Thursday said the Thorco Lineage has continued to drift, but the vessel poses no immediate threat land or the environment.

The Philippines-flagged Thorco Lineage was underway from Baltimore, Maryland in the United States to Hobart, Australia when it experienced engine trouble and drifted aground on the northern end of Raroia Atoll, part of the Tuamotus chain.

The vessel’s hull remains intact, but part of steering gear and propeller were damaged in the grounding.

Officials were awaiting the arrival of a tug Papeete on Thursday afternoon.

Photo: Marine Nationale

Once connected, the tug is expected to tow Thorco Lineage to Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia, which could take several more days to complete. 

Another tug from the United States has been dispatched to then tow Thorco Lineage to a foreign port where repairs can be made, officials said. The tug however isn’t expected to arrive for another two weeks. 

The M/V Thorco Lineage is operated by Thorco Projects. The ship was built in 2014 and has a deadweight of 16,949 tonnes.

All 18 crew members remain on board the vessel.