Tow to Alang Shipbreakers Proving Troublesome for Wrecked MV Benita

MV Benita during the re-floating operation, Sunday, July 24, 2016. Photo: Five Oceans Salvage
MV Benita during the re-floating operation, Sunday, July 24, 2016. Photo: Five Oceans Salvage

More trouble for salvors of the MV Benita wreck just a few days they were able to refloat the vessel from the southern shore of Mauritius where it spent more than a month aground.

As of Tuesday the ship was under tow on a one way trip to an Alang shipbreaker. Now it’s questionable whether of not the vessel will ever make it to its final destination.

After the refloating of the Benita on Monday, the salvage team from Five Oceans Salvage has been assessing the tow-worthiness of the vessel as they prepared for the tow to Alang, India for demolition. 

WATCH: Tugs Pull MV Benita From Mauritius’ Shore

An update Wednesday from the company said that crews initially began towing the vessel by the stern, but as they reached deeper water towing by the stern was no longer possible and they are now adjusting the towline connection from the bow. The process of adjusting the towing arrangement is proving difficult and slow, since the prevailing sea conditions are preventing a boarding team from getting aboard. 

Five Oceans added that crews expect to resume the towage later Wednesday and follow a course that will keep the convoy clear of any islands.

As you’ll recall, the Liberian-flagged MV Benita ran aground after one of its crew members attacked other members of the crew on onboard. The ship ran aground after the attacker locked himself in the engine room, causing damage to equipment that resulted in the ship losing propulsion. The salvage team spent more than a month removing fuel and other oils from the vessel, repairing damage, and repressurizing the ship’s tanks prior to the refloating.