Ministry of Transport issues further update on M/T Formosa Falcon

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Glenyns Hanna-Martin, Minister for Transport and Aviation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

29th September 2013

REFLOATING THE MT FORMOSA FALCON

MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT AND AVIATION

A third attempt to refloat the M/T Formosa Falcon by the owners was not successful on Saturday 28 September, 2013. The salvage team made several efforts to re-float the grounded vessel however, the laden vessel remains grounded under the supervision of a tug vessel, Government officials and safety representatives for the Formosa Falcon.

An action plan was forwarded to the Ministry of Transport and Aviation and the Port Department for review prior to the commencement of the operation.  A team mobilized at approximately 1:00 p.m. to ensure that resources were in place to commence the operation of refloating the vessel.  As high tide was at 2:30 p.m., every effort was made to take advantage of the window of opportunity to refloat the vessel during high tide. A dive inspection of the Falcon revealed that the hull of the vessel was not breached. The operation was suspended, however, once the tide began to fall.

The operation was monitored by the Port Department and containment booms have been deployed as a precautionary safety measure. The next course of action is to lighten the ship by removing some of its cargo. This action will assist in reducing the weight of the ship thereby making the refloating operation easier. An action plan -inclusive of contingencies- is being prepared by the ship’s representative for review by the Authorities.

The safety of life at sea and the protection of the marine environment are the primary objectives in the refloating of this grounded vessel. Booms have been deployed to protect the coast line in the event of an unforeseen incident. The vessel is however stable and under supervision.