Weather prevents salvors from boarding sinking car carrier

The Panamanian-flagged car carrier Modern Express continues to drift eastward in the Bay of Biscay as salvors assess options for saving the stricken ship. 

On Thursday, the Modern Express was located approximately 168 nautical miles west of La Rochelle, France and drifting eastward at a rate of about 1.3 knots.

A salvage team from SMIT salvage arrived early Thursday along with the French Navy frigate Primauguet carrying a Lynx helicopter. 

Two Spanish tugs hired by the shipowner have also joined the frigate and the emergency tug Abeille Bourbon, which has been on scene since Wednesday, in the area.

According to France’s Maritime Prefect Atlantic, the vessel’s list has stabilized and the ship is now showing no signs of water ingress.

Weather has prevented salvors from boarding the car carrier to prepare it for possible towing. Salvors are still trying to determine the best course of action for saving the vessel. 

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