Monday, March 06, 2006

Monday Stranded Giant Container Ship Blogging

Since the night before Christmas, a huge container ship has been hard aground outside the Mexican port of Ensenada. The MV APL Panama, 52,000 tonnes plus an estimated 30,000 tonnes of cargo, drove at speed into a beach after the captain unwisely dispensed with the services of a harbour pilot. She is estimated to be so far aground that the keel is in 1.5 metres of water, 8.5 metres of sand. The fantastic Cargolaw has total information, spread over three large pages.

The ship, on the beach.

So far, as many as seven 5,000 horsepower tugs have attempted to drag the ship off and back into deep water. A specially-equipped barge with massive hydraulic rams has also tried. Now, a dredger has been called on in an effort to dig a channel from the sea to the ship. In the meantime, the cargo is being unloaded piece by piece using first a Sikorsky Skycrane helicopter, then a Russian Mi-26 HALO heli - the world's most powerful helicopter - and now a big mobile crane. A road has been improvised up to the ship.

The Skycrane in action.

CargoLaw is doing a fine job of open-source reporting on the continuing fiasco - see this list of sources...
Anonymous contributors* (Lots of them)

SGT Kenton Allen, Transportation Corps. U.S. Army

Robert Bents

George J. Brown

M. Bruenger

Kenneth Cotton

Jesse L. Dean

Don Fagan - Our Correspondent in Ensenada.

Dan Fix - Great Lakes

Pete Gomes

Captain Russ Hoburg -- recently retired from Blue & Gold Fleet, San Francisco - long time Crowley employee -- Palm Springs.

"Took the drive down to Ensenada to see the APL Panama. It is a sight to behold!"

Leslie Marchetti, Marchetti Fine Arts at San Diego.

Greg Mitre - Ports of Los Angeles- Long Beach Longshoreman

Jerome A. Morris

Tim Schwabedissen -- The Cargo Letter, Senior Correspondent

Cecilia Stevens - Galatea Insurance, UK

Papabaja - Our Correspondent in Punta Banda.

Tassie Tiger

Richard Ward - Operations Manager, NYK Line, Brisbane, Australia

Phil Walcher, Engineer on Crowley tug M/V Saturn at San Diego.

Jack Wall - Los Angeles

Meanwhile, a small town has grown up around the cock-up, what with the salvage crew, the helicopter pad, a road being built down to the ship, the deployment of the crane, and crowds of rubberneckers. And, of course, the businesses that serve them...

Ice cream. Yum

1 comment:

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