Maersk container ship runs aground en-route to Bremerhaven

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The Mumbai Maersk container ship has reportedly run aground by the German island of Wangerooge in the North Sea. A shipping expert has said there will be four opportunities to get the vessel afloat in the next 40 hours.

Maersk container ship runs aground en-route to Bremerhaven
Photo: kees torn, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The accident involving the 399m long, 59m-wide vessel reportedly occurred last night at around 11pm CET. The ship had left the Port of Rotterdam and was bound for Bremerhaven in Germany.

As Splash 247 reports, Germany’s Central Command for Maritime Emergencies said a first attempt to release the vessel this morning had been unsuccessful. Two multipurpose vessels and five tugs were used during the attempt.

According to Maersk, extra tugs are being deployed and another attempt to free the vessel will be made later today. The company also stated that all the crew on board are safe and there are no signs of any hull breach or pollution.

Commenting on the accident on LinkedIn, renowned shipping expert Lars Jensen explained why he believes there will be good opportunities to free the vessel today and tomorrow.

However, if those attempts are unsuccessful, Jensen added that tide movements will make it even more difficult afterwards:

“When I look at the tidal charts, we are at spring tide. Hence low tides are lower than usual and high tides are higher. Whether this was a reason for the grounding is unclear, but as the grounding apparently happened at 23:00 that would be between low and high tide. The next high tide occurs today (Thursday) at 15:06, and the next following high tide at 3:17am tomorrow. The one tomorrow is a full 4 meters and hence extra high due to the spring tide. The one almost 25 hours later is at 4.01 meters. After that the magnitude of the high tides starts coming back down. Basically this means there are 4 good chances to get the vessel back afloat within the next 40 hours, hereof two with extra high tides. After that it becomes progressively more difficult.”


Photo: kees torn, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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