Dodgy anchoring, a small channel, a large ship and a Force 8, all the ingredients for an accident that should not have happened.
MAC’s UK correspondent Bill Redmond reveals all
A 7,000-tonne cargo ship, the Pantanal, which ran aground on the Connemara coast in the early hours of March 31 “should not have happened,” said the Irish Minister for Marine, Simon Covey, and will be investigated. Speaking in Rossaveal, the minister said: My understanding is that the captain of the ship was advised not to anchor where he anchored by the harbour master’s office here. He ignored that risk.”
Fortunately, the ship’s operator, Harren & Partner, of Bremen, arranged for two tugs to pull the beached vessel off at high tide on April 1st, which was successful and all the 16-man crew were safe with no obvious damage to the vessel following a divers’ inspection.
It could, however, have been very different. The grounding was treated as an international or “priority one” incident and protective booms were placed around the vessel with 370 tonnes of heavy marine fuel on board to contain any pollution risk.