Ship still stuck in St Kitts harbour
BASSETERRE, St Kitts – The Turkish-flagged oil tanker, Azra-S remains grounded in shallow waters in the St. Kitts harbour as the authorities launch an investigation into the mishap that occurred as a result of inclement weather and rough seas a week ago.
Director of Maritime Affiars, McClean Hobson said that two salvage companies have shown an interest in submitting contracts to the owners for the salvaging of the 344-tanker with 18, 000 barrels of diesel onboard.
“We are expecting a contract to be awarded. It is not that easy to just pull off the vessel where it is lodged on the seabed. It is very technical procedure,” Hobson said.
He said that the Department of Maritime Affiars has started the investigation into the incident in compliance with the Casualty Investigation Code of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
“There is no spillage and the marine environment in the area remains intact,” said Hobson.
The Azra-S was built in 2007 and has two hulls to help safeguard its cargo. If the outer hull is breached, the inner one keeps the oil in place, officials said. CMC