Giant box ship towed into Hamburg

Vessel was towed into Hamburg by five tugs Vessel was towed into Hamburg by five tugs Havariekommando (CCME Germany)

FEBRUARY 9, 2016 — After an operation that started just after 2.00 a.m. this morning, the 399.6 m containership CSCL Indian Ocean arrived in Hamburg at 06.15 a.m., local time.

The ship had been grounded in the Elbe River off the island of Lühesand since 10.00 p.m. last Wednesday.The vessel was towed into Hamburg by five tugs and, according to Germany's Central Command for Maritime Emergencies, or CCME, (Havariekommando), first reports indicated that all systems on board were running well — including the rudder.

According to the CCME, the four day operation to free the giant box ship involved 26 ships and pollution surveillance aircraft and saw 65,000 cu.m of earth removed from around the ship.

The recovery plan was drawn up in cooperation with salvage companies Kotug Offshore B.V. and Smit Salvage B.V. Vessels involved included the deep sea tugs Union Manta and Fairmount Expedition, six Bugsier tractor tugs and four Kotug tugs, two river police boats and the Cuxhaven multipurpose vessel Neuwerk.

The CCME pollution surveillance aircraft observed the tow and saw no sign of pollutant discharge. The airspace above the ship has been reopened and all restrictions on the waterway have been lifted.

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