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Cargo ship runs aground off Knysna coast

by South African Govt News Agency
on 08 Aug 2013
South African Government News Agency
South African Government News Agency

A cargo ship stocked with rice has run aground a few kilometers off the Knysna coast, in the middle of the Garden Routes popular tourist site, Goukamma Nature Reserve.

The vessel lost power and the anchor was dropped early on Thursday morning, MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Alan Winde said in a statement.

Rescue authorities including the NSRI assisted in evacuating all the 19 of the crew members safely and Smit and Amandla are to assist in towing the ship to safety.

"It is in the middle of a nature reserve and one of the Garden Route's popular tourism sites. While there no current threats to life to the environment, we hope the ship is towed soon before this turns into another Seli 1.

"We commend the quick response to the incident by the rescue agencies, once again we’ve seen the NSRI volunteers snap into immediate action," said Winde.

In September 2009, the Turkish vessel Seli 1 experienced engine problems and sought refuge in Table Bay. Reduced engine power and stormy weather caused the vessel to run aground off Table View beach.

The MEC added that national and provincial authorities are monitoring the situation closely. – SAnews.gov.za

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