Based on the latest imagery released by the French High Commission in New Caledonia, the latest round of bad weather has pushed two hull pieces further apart and the stern section of the hull has been submerged deeper into the water.
The commission said that the operations have resumed on the Durand Reef. According to the initial findings, there have been no signs of pollution near the wreck.
“Overflights following the passage of cyclone Gita did not detect any traces of pollution,” the commission added.
As informed, measures taken before the cyclone limited the cyclone’s impact on the vessel, and the hull movements were minimal.
Tugs have returned to the site and helicopters are flying over the reef on a daily basis to ensure the absence of floating debris.
The latest developments are being reported in anticipation of the announcement of the tender winner for the removal of broken up containership from a rock reef in the south Pacific, where it has spent the last eight months.
A tender winner is expected to be named within the next few weeks, following the completion of contractual negotiations.
Based on the salvage plan, the hull sections will be lifted and then removed intact from the reef to protect the marine environment.
Ardent has led recovery work on the Kea Trader since its grounding last July, initially removing heavy fuel oil and other pollutants, before extracting all but 96 of the 756 containers and 26 flat-racks that were originally on board.
The 2,194-TEU containership ran aground six months after its delivery from Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard in China.
World Maritime News Staff; Image Courtesy: Haut-Commissariat de la République en Nouvelle-Calédonie
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Diesel hydraulic drive