Another cargo ship in distress, 23 crew airlifted at Richards Bay – photos

Photos of the latest cargo ship in distress at Richards Bay

St Francis Chronicle

A coal cargo ship ran into difficulties at the Richards Bay port today, 19 August, and its 23 crew members were airlifted to safety by helicopter with assistance from the NSRI duty crew. 

Picture Norman Rautenbach / NSRI

The ship, Smart Panama, became lodged onto a sandbank early afternoon at the entrance of the Richards Bay port. At 4 pm today after the structural integrity of the ship was compromised, the Captain ordered his ship to be abandoned.

At 2.36 pm NSRI Richards Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority to assist three Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) tug boat in attendance at Smart Panama, which is about 230 meters long. The tug boats were attempting to pull the vessel free of the sand bank. It appears that in very rough seas of 10 meter swells, the ship was pushed onto a sand bank while exiting Port to…

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