THE BULKER Shen Neng 1 was so damaged by its Great Barrier Reef grounding that some coal must be unloaded in Gladstone before towing it to Asia for repair, Australian authorities have found.
Maritime Safety Queensland announced last night that weather permitting, the 70,181dwt vessel will be towed to port in daylight hours on 22 April after a passage of 18-24 hours.
MSQ general manager Patrick Quirk said the bulker is now stable, with no oil leaking and most of the oil remaining secure on board in secure positions.
He added that the strong mix of maritime and industrial skills in the area meant Gladstone was the best place in Australia to undertake some weeks of initial repairs. Five tugs, with another on standby, would tow the ship – with four MSQ pilots aboard – to the RG Tanna Coal Terminal.
Salvors Svitzer has found that the ship’s hull had been breached in at least two places, with dents and cracking along its length, Quirk said. The engine room is inoperable and the rudder bent at 90 degrees.