Salvage operation to retrieve containers lost off MSC Palak

An aerial view of the port of Ngqura. Credit: Transnet Port Terminals

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and other stakeholders based in the port of Ngqura are co-ordinating a salvage operation to retrieve containers lost overboard from MSC Palak during a storm in Algoa Bay, South Africa, on 14 July 2020.

The salvage operation also involves the vessel’s insurer, the Department of Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries (DEFF), Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), the vessel owners, and local cleanup services providers.

“Aerial surveillance has been carried out to spot the drifting debris along the coast and salvage crew using boats have towed the spotted debris to a safe place such that it poses minimal risk to ships navigating along the coast and to avoid environmental damage,” SAMSA said.

“MSC [Mediterranean Shipping Company] has given its full support to the salvaging operations to recover any floating debris and assist with making the shipping lanes and the general area safe for navigation.”

In addition, MSC has committed to be financially responsible for any cleanup that may be required in the bay and areas in the vicinity for the next five years, if deemed to be linked with the incident.

SAMSA said that it had released MSC Palak on 21 July, a week after detaining the vessel for the loss of a reported 22 containers overboard.