‘SKS Satilla’ heads for Europe

Mar 13 2009

The bottom-damaged Suezmax ‘SKS Satilla’ is currently heading towards Europe for repairs under her own power.

The bottom-damaged Suezmax ‘SKS Satilla’ is currently heading towards Europe for repairs under her own power.

DNV drew up a transit plan for the stricken vessel for a single voyage to a European port during the middle of the week, which was approved by the US Coast Guard.

The Suezmax sustained underwater damage while laden with crude oil off the Texan coast. The damage was alleged to have have been caused by a submerged MODU, which had sunk during a hurricane.

A three day lightering operation was completed on 10th March, during which about 976,190 barrels of crude oil was transferred to other tankers in the Gulf of Mexico, the US Coast Guard said.

Once her list had been corrected, last weekend the tanker was taken to a lightering area 104.6 km south of Galveston where ship-to-ship transfer operations commenced using AET’s Aframax ‘Eagle Albany’.

The tanker first reported that it was taking on water on 6th March. An underwater inspection found punctures over a large area of the tanker's external portside hull below the waterline, the USCG said.

Divers have since removed a jagged piece of metal from the tanker's hull. An investigation was continuing to determine the cause of the damage and the role, if any, played by the MODU.

No injuries were reported among the crew and no pollution observed from the double-hulled tanker, which was carrying the crude from the North Sea to the US Gulf Coast.

Vessel manager, Bergen-based Kristian Gerhard Jebsen Skipsrederi (KGJS) confirmed that the vessel had left the area, but said that it had not been decided where she would go for repairs. However, said that she was heading for either a northern or southern European yard.

KGJS also said that it had co-ordinated the successful lightering operation along with the USCG and salvors - Smit International and confirmed that DNV had calculated the vessel’s departure condition, which was well within all stability and strength requirements.

Before she sailed, this plan was approved by the USCG.

Some minor repairs were made while the vessel was at anchor.

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