Cheshire under tow towards Gran Canaria

Bulk carrier MV Cheshire is now under tow towards Gran Canaria, more than a week after the ship’s cargo holds suffered overheating, causing the emission of nitrogen dioxide smoke. “On August 21st the salvors managed to get a tow line attached and the Cheshire is now under tow and heading towards Gran Canaria at a speed of around 3.0 knots. As of August 22, the ship is in position 26 23.9 N 019 07.9W heading North East. The plan is to proceed to a position 50 miles South West of Gran Canaria,” owner Bibby Transport said in an update.

Cheshire is loaded with fertilizer ammonium nitrate, and experienced elevated temperatures in cargo holds 4 and 5 on August 12th while en route from Norway to Thailand. Resolve Marine has been hired to conduct salvage operations, and the cargo manufacturer has sent four representatives to Las Palmas to advise on cargo cooling.

“Resolve Marine has been on station alongside the vessel since August 16th, but failed to get on board due to adverse weather conditions and the heat and fumes being generated from the affected holds. Holds 4 and 5 have now cooled down as the process of decomposition is believed to have completed, but holds 2 and 3 are still decomposing and emitting fumes, while hold 1 is presently stable,” Bibby said.

The crew was evacuated from the vessel and they have been flown home, apart from the second engineer, who is said to be assisting the salvors.

2012-built, Isle of Man-flagged, 33,042 gt Cheshire is owned by Bibby Transport and managed by Bibby Line Ltd, both of Liverpool, UK. ISM manager is V Ships Asia Group Pte of Singapore. Amlin Syndicate 2001 is claims leader for Hull and Hull & Machinery, on behalf of Bibby Ship Management. Gard has a subscription interest.