Tuesday, August 14, 2012 -
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August 15: MSC Flaminia fire is not what it seems to be and what MSC and NSB are telling to public. Most probably, there is a very dangerous cargo on board we don’t know anything about, either explosives or highly poisonous materials, maybe of a military character. Several facts:
Crew abandoned the vessel without any visible real danger to them or to the vessel, vessel all by herself survived the fire being abandoned and unattended, survived the storm and as is can be seen on just stunning air video http://www.ouest-france.fr/actu/actuDet_-MSC-Flaminia.-Plus-de-danger-l-etat-du-navire-s-ameliore_39382-2104288_actu.Htm, is now proceeding under own power. Maybe I’m mistaken and there is tug somewhere far ahead of MSC Flaminia, missing by the camera? Have a look yourselves.
Information I received yesterday August 14:
The MSC FLAMINIA is currently sitting off UK territorial waters where she is expected to remain pending a decision by the UK authorities to either allow her to transit through the English Channel or to allow her into a place of refuge, where the salvors can take the steps necessary to stabilise the casualty before she heads to into a nominated port of refuge (at present expected to be either Rotterdam or Zeebrugge) where she will discharge any sound/part sound cargo.
The UK, French, Dutch and Belgian Authorities have recently met with salvors to discuss the casualty’s predicament and to explore the options available. The UK Authorities are particularly concerned that the damaged vessel may cause an interruption to the Olympic events, currently taking place off the West Coast of the UK, and the potential risk to the environment from the extinguishing water. There is also concern as to the structural integrity of the vessel, particularly since she is facing testing gales force weather conditions. A decision by the territorial authorities will be taken once the salvors have produced a passage plan, salvage plan and a stabilisation plan and any subsequent services are expected to last at least a further 4 to 5 weeks.
On what grounds do authorities reject the refuge to the visibly stable, seaworthy vessel? Fire is almost out, list decreased to some 2 degrees, and more to that, French video shows vessel proceeding under own power. Why escorting tugs were running between MSC Flaminia and Falmouth, carrying presumably, some equipment and specialists, why there were so many difficulties in boarding apparently sound vessel? How the distressed MSC Flaminia could possibly endanger Olympic Games (no less!), when she is definitely not in danger of sinking or big fire, and how her fire would possibly interrupt Olympic Games?
At present all the vessels proceed in western direction at a speed which is much higher than usual for the towage, they sailed some 90 nautical miles during 24 hours between 03:13 UTC August 13 and 03:18 UTC August 14, and at 14.8.12 03:18 UTC they were in position 49.47.2N 013.37.9W, course 300 deg speed 6 plus knots. Maybe the vessel is sailing back to US, where the voyage started, as the only place to deal with the dangerous cargo?
Latest news from NSB Niederelbe website:
Buxtehude, August 14 2012
Due to the inconsistent weather conditions salvage operations onboard MSC FLAMINIA can not be conducted continuously at the moment. The position of MSC FLAMINIA remains unchanged and the vessel is listing at 2.5 degrees. Negotiations regarding the permission to enter a sheltered coastal area or an emergency port are still without any result.
Full story with chronology, photos and maps at http://www.odin.tc/2012/mscflaminiaen.asp