Ship run aground – at Salt Rock


The Phoenix shortly before she went aground. Picture by Rogan Ward.

Tuesday, 26 July, 2011: NSRI on stand-by throughout the night for ship run aground – Ballito (Salt Rock)


Photo Taken By Marcus Potgieter

The Phoenix, a derelict bulk tanker ran aground at Salt Rock on Durban’s North Coast at about 10 am this morning.

At approximately 19h00 on Monday, 25 July, 2011 NSRI Durban volunteers and the SA Air Force 15 Squadron were placed on high alert by the Transnet National Ports Authority for the 164 meter bulk tanker Phoenix that had broken its anchor and was drifting towards Salt Rock on Durban’s North Coast.

Ship Run Aground Salt Rock Ship Run Aground Salt Rock2

Phoenix was en-route to Indian scrap yards to be scrapped and is carrying a small skeleton crew. She was under her own motor power passing the South African Coast and put to anchor off Durban’s North Coast to wait out some increment weather on Monday.

Ship Run Aground Salt Rock3

A cold front pushed through during Monday bringing up to 4 meter swells and a 25 to 30 knot wind with rough sea conditions.

Following reports that her anchor chain had failed the Transnet National Ports Authority dispatched the salvage tug Smit Amandla which was standing-by off the Durban coast at the time, to attempt to attach a tow-line and drag the bulk tanker out to deep sea.


Photo By: Tim Driman

Attempts to attach a tow-line in rough seas was not immediately possible last night and Phoenix lay close off-shore of Salt Rock.

At the same time NSRI Durban volunteers were placed on alert and the South African Air Force 15 Squadron Oryx helicopter was placed on alert to evacuate the skeleton crew if needed.


Photo By: Tim Driman

This morning, 26 July, 2011, according to the Transnet National Ports Authority, Smit Amandla Marine have requested a team from Subtech salvors to assist to attach a tow-line from Phoenix to Smit Amandla in order that the casualty ship can be towed out to sea.


Photo By: Tim Driman

NSRI Durban will dispatch a deep-sea rescue craft to be on stand-by during the salvage operation.

eThekwini Fire and Rescue services have dispatched a team to stand-by on the beach front and SAMSA (South African Maritime safety authority) are monitoring the situation and directing the salvage operation.
Smit Amandla Marine are the salvage commanders and NSRI’s role in todays operation is simply as a stand-by safety boat while the operation is being carried out.

Sorce - NSRI

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