BERLIN – A Panamanian tanker carrying hazardous cargo that was en route to Spain ran aground early Monday at the mouth of a river in Germany that flows into the North Sea, maritime authorities said.
The Oriental Nadeshiko, which is 124 meters (407 feet) long and was carrying over 9,000 metric tons (9,929 US tons) of highly flammable liquids, became grounded on the Elbe estuary near the city of Cuxhaven in northwestern Germany after departing from Bützfleth harbor.
“The Havariekommando (Central Command for Maritime Emergencies Germany) has ordered six tugs and the Stickers Gat delivery ship to the operational area around 10 km (6 miles) east of Cuxhaven. The aim is to prepare the Oriental Nadeshiko for a recovery attempt to re-float the tanker,” a statement by the CCME said.
“The land-based Nordholz boarding team is alerted and will advise and assist the crew of the stricken vessel in the construction of the emergency towing link,” the statement added.
The Stickers Gat ship would first identify the exact location of the tanker, with the CCME’s Neuwerk ship having been brought in to oversee the entire operation.
The CCME confirmed there were 22 crew members and one traffic controller on board the affected ship.
The crew has been checking the dangerous goods regularly and no leaked pollutants have so far been detected.
Authorities said the cause for the accident was unknown and would only be determined once the salvage operation had taken place.