Salvage crews from Smit Salvage have successfully refloated ro/pax ferry Marco Polo (IMO 9019080) ferry, which ran aground on October 22nd near Laxören, Sweden, and then again south of Karlshamn, near Horvik, also in Sweden.
The TT-Line operated vessel suffered extensive hull damage and an unknown quantity of oil and diesel leaked into the water from one of the breached tanks (the smaller one of two on the vessel). There was an urgency to the salvage because stormy weather was threatening and there were fears that the other tank could be breached, compounding any pollution dangers.
Attempts to remove oil from the vessel had previously been aborted due to adverse weather conditions. On Sunday the ship floated free, but subsequently ran aground again south of Karlshamn, which resulted in the release of more oil.
The damaged fuel tanks contained an estimated 160 cubic meters of oil prior to the accident. The undamaged tank(s) had some 300 cubic metres of oil in them.
The vessel was refloated on Wednesday with the assistance of two tugs. It was then relocated to deeper waters. It was expected to be towed to Stillerydshamnen on Thursday morning.
The salvage operation and efforts to mitigate the environmental impact were continuing. No injuries were reported in connection with the groundings, with all those on board being evacuated successfully. Two members of Marco Polo’s crew were charged with negligence in maritime traffic and were fined for relying too much on an electronic display that may have been faulty.
1993-built, Cyprus-flagged, 15,955 gt Marco Polo is owned by Baltic Shipping GmbH care of manager TT-Line GmbH of Lübeck, Germany. It is entered with Gard P&I on behalf of Baltic Shipping GmbH. For Hull it is entered with Gard AS (claims leader) on behalf of TT-Line GmbH. As of November 2nd (morning) it was listed as Not Under Command a short way south of Karlshamn, Sweden.