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From the www.mercury.co.za -

Companies keen to remove stranded ship

Four international companies have submitted tenders to remove the wreck of the container ship, Safmarine Agulhas, from the western breakwater of East London Harbour.

Tenders closed last week and, according to the South African Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa), bids were received from two South African-based international salvage companies and two foreign-based. Samsa said it would take several weeks for the tenders to be evaluated before one of the bidders is awarded the contract.

Seabed

The contract calls for the wreck to be removed right down to seabed level by February 2007, although authorities say they will be flexible if weather delays the work.

The four companies bidding for the contract are: Cape Town-based Smit Salvage, a division of the Dutch salvage company, SvitzerWijsmuller, which is a division of the AP Moller Group with offices in Cape Town; US-based Titan Marine; and Dutch company Mammoet Salvage.

Safmarine Agulhas has been on the breakwater since June 26, when she ran aground after losing engine power soon after sailing from harbour. The ship was carrying a cargo of containers and was bound for Durban. All but 80 of the containers were taken off the shipwreck by Smit Salvage, along with the majority of the fuel oil.

There has been no contamination to speak of, but 80 containers remained on board the vessel when the salvage effort was curtailed. One has since fallen overboard and apparently sank. By that stage, heavy seas had caused the ship to break in half and further salvage efforts were deemed to be too dangerous to continue. Since then, the two sections of the ship have move noticeably apart
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Rushie
 

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safmarine agulhas - blesbok

safmarine agulhas - she was not the only ship to come to grieve there - as the dredger - blesbok - came to grieve at the exact same spot - and its believed the agulhas lies on top of the latter
 

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