The Seychelles authorities were preparing a plan Monday afternoon to remove a Kenyan fishing vessel that ran aground on a reef.
The director general of the Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration (SMSA), Joachim Valmont, told the SNA on Monday that the authorities had obtained permission from the shipowner to conduct the operation. He added that it would be difficult to remove the vessel currently on the reef.
“We made sure we discussed the situation and got the shipowner’s approval. It is possible that during our operation, the vessel may still be damaged and may even sink when placed in deeper water,” said Mr. Valmont. The Kenyan flag ship, Diamond Ace Number 1, ran aground on a reef Friday evening in the vicinity of Long Island and Île aux Cerfs. According to Valmont, the vessel was on its way to Port Victoria to refuel “because of a lack of diesel fuel”. Its original destination was Mombasa, Kenya. Valmont did not specify whether the vessel was authorized to take this route into Port Victoria.
The General Manager stated that the master of the vessel had confirmed that all seven crew members were safe.
However, the vessel was taking on water in the accommodation area, which was described as under control. No damage was reported to the engine. There were two attempts to conduct a rescue operation over the weekend.
“The current weather conditions prevent us from carrying out the operation because the sea is rough and unstable,” said Mr. Valmont. Saturday afternoon’s operation cost the life of a Seychellois captain, Pierre Grandcourt, who, according to police, fell into the water after a series of waves struck the ship on which he was on board.