Dredger runs aground on Canary Islands

The Port Authority of La Palmas in the Canary Islands is working with Spain’s Salvamento Marítimo to respond to a small dredger that grounded on the coast of La Isleta, Gran Canaria, on Tuesday August 16th. Salvage operations were reported to have been complicated by high tides and strong waves which damaged the hull of the vessel.

The 85-feet long Mimar Cinco was working along the coast on August 16th when it became stranded. There were five crew onboard. Salvamento Marítimo dispatched a rescue boat that successfully evacuated the crew. The dredger had been operating on the La Isleta coast since Monday, having been contracted by the Spanish Navy to remove two old shipwrecks in a military area on the coast, according to reports.

A rescue tug was sent to try to refloat the dredger but was unsuccessful. This sparked fears of an oil spill near the La Isleta coast. Salvamento Marítimo ordered its rescue vessel to return to the site of the accident and as a precaution, the Government of the Canary Islands activated its oil spill prevention protocol.

Las Palmas Port Authority president Luis Ibarra said that “the objective was to avoid environmental damage and this has been achieved. There has been no spillage so far and I thank the Harbour Master for the work well done, as well as helping to de-escalate the incident.”

Ibarra said that more than 6,000 litres of diesel had been removed from the Mimar Cinco by Wednesday morning August 17th.