By Jite Erabie
The first attempt to refloat the grounded containership Kea Trader last week failed, according to data provided by New Caledonia’s government.
On October 9, the officials informed that the salvage company Ardent attempted to move the 2017-built boxship from its resting place on a reef off New Caledonia after it conducted the necessary repair operations on the ship’s damaged cargo holds. Although four tugs were deployed to move the vessel, the operation was not successful.
However, the units managed to slightly move the ship, rotating it by 50° on the right. There was no significant pollution detected during this maneuver, the government’s report indicated.
The officials said that further work on board to enhance Kea Trader’s buoyancy will be needed before the salvage company organizes a second refloating attempt.
Kea Trader ran hard aground on the Durand Reef on July 12. Damage assessments conducted by late September showed that the 2,194 TEU ship is beyond repair and would have to be recycled, the ship’s owner Lomar Shipping earlier said.
Underwater inspections identified extensive damage to the ship’s hull, rudder and propeller. Furthermore, there was also evidence of further structural damage within the vessel and additional deterioration being caused while the ship remains on the rock reef during rough swells.
“Given the nature of the damage already known, that expected in currently inaccessible areas, and as a result of the vessel’s continuing deterioration, the company has regrettably had to agree with its H&M insurer that the vessel cannot be repaired and will need to be recycled,” Lomar Shipping informed.
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