A feat of considerable seamanship enabled a relief tanker to draw alongside the stricken Pacific Glory off the Isle of Wight on Thursday (October 29) in a bid to pump off 68,000 tons of crude oil and refloat the vessel.
Aerial view relief tanker alongside Pacific Glory
LV Tugs nudge tanker close to Pacific Glory
SV ZOOM OUT ships secured together
GV Ships alongside ZOOM IN to Pacific Glory superstructure
SV Dutch tug Pan to tankers
LV Zoom in Pacific Glory bow Pan to relief ship alongside (2 shots)
Aerial view two tankers
Initials BB/MR/OS/507 BB/MR/OS/530
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Background: A feat of considerable seamanship enabled a relief tanker to draw alongside the stricken Pacific Glory off the Isle of Wight on Thursday (October 29) in a bid to pump off 68,000 tons of crude oil and refloat the vessel.
The helpless Pacific Glory, which has wallowed on a sandbank for six days spewing crude oil into the surrounding sea is presenting a dangerous pollution threat to nearby beaches. The oil is also a potential killer to both fish and sea birds.
Several attempts have been made to refloat the giant tanker since she went aground while being towed away from the scene of a collision and she caught fire. Thirteen seamen died.
The danger of the ship splitting wide open and spewing her entire cargo of 68,000 tons of acrid crude oil into the sea is a very real one.
Experts have kept a close watch on her, and every turning tide has brought the treat of the dreaded break-up. But, so far the Pacific Glory has withstood the battering of the sea, her fire extinguished and the loss of oil kept to a minimum.
The latest move has been to bring a smaller tanker alongside and fix flexible connections between the two vessels. This difficult manoeuvre was accomplished with the aid of several tugs.
After hours of jockeying the smaller ship alongside the half-submerged Pacific Glory, the connections were made and crude oil began flowing into the empty holds of the second tanker, the Halia.
The aim is to offload 20,000 tons at a time, transport it to a nearby oil port and return for more. The operation is expected to take several days.