Update on South African shipwreck

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From Lloyds List

IKAN TANDA (Singapore) Cape Town, Oct 17 - The Smit Pentow Marine salvage team succeeded in refloating general cargo Ikan Tanda at 0300 hrs and was towed out to sea by salvage tug Wolraad Woltemade and tug/supply Pentow Skua. She is now approximately nine miles out and will continue to be towed away from the coast. As previously stated, the priority of the Salvors is to stabilise the casualty in deep water. The successful conclusion to the refloating phase of the operation marks the end of a six week operation during which time the oil aboard the Ikan Tanda was removed and approximately 12,000 tonnes of cargo discharged (including potassium nitrate, potassium sulphate and potassium chloride).

Yesterday, the deballasting (removal of seawater taken on to the Ikan Tanda to stabilize her during the cargo discharge operation) phase of the refloating operation was hampered by the Ikan Tanda taking a 25 deg list to starboard, which caused the generators and hydraulic power packs to trip and interrupted deballasting.

Despite this, and with the aid of the Wolraad Woltemade, she was moved 30 degs to starboard on yesterday afternoon's high tide and also moved a distance of 40 metres further away from Scarborough Beach. Once the situation had been stabilized, deballasting continued throughout the night and she was refloated successfully on the next high tide. - Smit Pentow Marine (Pty) Ltd.

Cape Town, Oct 22 - Following the successful refloating of general cargo Ikan Tanda by Smit Pentow Marine at 0300, Oct 17, she remains under tow and is currently 44 nautical miles south west of Cape Point. The vessel continues to be towed by salvage tug Wolraad Woltemade. The salvage team on board Ikan Tanda has been able to reduce the list on the casualty to three degrees over the course of the past few days. Smit Pentow Marine has submitted various proposals concerning the future of Ikan Tanda to local authorities and the owners/underwriters for consideration. -Smit Pentow Marine (Pty) Ltd.

Cape Town, Oct 26 - General cargo Ikan Tanda remains under tow in convoy with salvage tug Wolraad Woltemade. Earlier this week, salvors Smit Pentow Marine were advised that - in light of the fact that Ikan Tanda has not been permitted by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) to enter any South African port for repair - a period of five days had been given in which to terminate the contract awarded to salvors when Ikan Tanda ran aground. Preparations for this phase of the operation began immediately and the team began removing the numerous items of salvage equipment on board the vessel used in refloating and cargo removal operations. However, a substantial amount of salvage equipment remains on board. Yesterday afternoon, worsening conditions on board Ikan Tanda necessitated the evacuation of all personnel from the vessel by helicopter. This was due to a number of factors including that of the cranes on board having lost their hydraulic seals, causing the crane booms to swing and their travelling blocks to become "loose", making the main deck area hazardous to personnel. Overnight, No. 5 crane collapsed and is now lying across the deck. At present, Wolraad Woltemade continues to tow Ikan Tanda offshore and members of the salvage team shall reboard the casualty once she is 200 nautical miles form the coast so as to reassess the situation. - Smit Pentow Marine (Pty) Ltd.

Cape Town, Oct 29 - On the evening Oct 27, general cargo Ikan Tanda was scuttled in a position approximately 200 miles west of Cape Town, finally sinking at 2030 hrs. This followed the declaration of the casualty by her owners and their representatives on Friday (Oct 26) afternoon as a ŽConstructive Total Loss' (CTL). Salvors Smit Pentow Marine continued with preparations to scuttle the vessel during the day on Saturday, which included cutting holes in strategic places aboard the vessel, removing all floatable gear including liferafts and opening the necessary valves. Salvage tug Wolraad Woltemade remained at the location overnight on Saturday to monitor oil and debris. Reports received indicate that there continues to be no sign of oil from the sunken casualty, although a floating hatch cover had been reported. Wolraad Woltemade remained on site until this morning, when the hatch cover was finally sunk. The salvage tug is presently en route Cape Town. - Smit Pentow Marine (Pty) Ltd.

-- Rich Marsh (marshr@airmail.net), October 30, 2001

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