Kenyan-flagged vessel grounded in Seychelles freed after a month
The vessel went aground on a reef on Friday, August 24, in the vicinity of Long and Cerf Island. (Gerard Larose, Seychelles Tourism Board)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Authorities on Friday freed a foreign vessel that went aground in Seychelles over a month ago, the Ports Authority said.
The Kenyan-flagged vessel, Diamond Ace Number 1, went aground on the night of Friday, August 24 in the vicinity of Long and Cerf Island, an area designated as a marine park. According to the captain, the vessel was calling into Port Victoria to refuel as it was running low on fuel. However, authorities in Seychelles said the vessel had not received authorisation to dock at Port Victoria.
Neil Rene, a representative of the Seychelles Ports Authority, told SNA that “the operation team was deployed at 5.00 a.m. The operation started at 5.45am and Diamond Ace Number 1 was removed from the reef at 6.35 am. It was then towed to its current location behind Ile de Romainville.”
The salvage was done with careful consideration and prevention of further damage to the coral reef and the Ports Authority said that an assessment of the impact shall be undertaken by the Seychelles National Parks Authority.
Rene added that “we are happy that there haven’t been any unfortunate events during today’s operation.”
Although preparations leading up to the operation started on late Thursday morning, the attempt to salvage Diamond ace Number 1 was adjourned until Friday morning as the team waited for a 1.7-metre-high tide to come it.
The Seychelles Port Authority had the assistance of the Seychelles Coast Guard, the Anti-Narcotics Bureau, Seychelles National Park Authority and the paramedics.
After the salvation on Friday morning, the Public Health Authorities boarded Diamond Ace 1 and carried out an overall inspection. The health authorities recommended that the vessel is cleaned and fumigated before any reparation works are undertaken on the vessel at any facility in Seychelles.
The Ports Authority said that “the owners of the vessel are in Seychelles and will bear the costs of the salvage.” The crew members of Diamond Ace Number 1 are all safe and sound and will remain on board the vessel.
According to earlier reports, the vessel, which was sailing to Mombasa, Kenya from South Korea, had holes in its hull.
Several attempts were made during the month to remove the vessel from where it was stuck. Prevailing weather conditions prevented relevant officers from carrying out the salvage mission. The latest failed attempt was on Wednesday when the rope being used during the operation broke.