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Fuel tanker still grounded off GB

Continued efforts to refloat a fuel tanker that ran aground off the coast of Grand Bahama last Thursday were unsuccessful, the Ministry of Transport and Aviation reported yesterday.

“A third attempt to refloat the M/T Formosa Falcon by the owners was not successful on Saturday,” read a statement from the ministry.

“The salvage team made several efforts to refloat 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.”

The vessel ran aground around 2:30 p.m. last Thursday. The Formosa Falcon, a 39,307 ton vessel, was carrying 12,796 tons of alkylate.

The ministry said there was no evidence of emission of the substance.

In its statement, the ministry said an action plan was put in motion before the start of the operation on Saturday, which started around 1 p.m.

“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,” the statement read.

“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 ministry said booms were deployed as a precautionary measure.

It said the next course of action is to lighten the ship by removing some of the vessel’s cargo.

“The safety of life at sea and the protection of the marine environment are the primary objectives in the refloating of this grounded vessel,” the ministry said.

“Booms have been deployed to protect the coast line in the event of an unforeseen incident. The vessel is, however, stable and under supervision.”

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Bahamas Development