MARIGOT–Salvage Company Seacure Marine Construction from the Dutch side finally succeeded Friday in towing the ship Yacht Hop away from its Baie Nettle Beach location where it had been grounded for the past three months.
Lack of cooperative weather and sea swells, leaks to the hull that had to be repaired, flooded engine room and snapped towing cables all conspired to make the salvage operation much longer than expected.
The UK-registered ship, formerly a trawler named Cape Chidley, had also become stuck on an underwater ledge, thought to be of thick clay, close to shore, but after weeks of prop washing and pulling the ship from side to side, it gradually moved forward helped by removal of lubricants, fuels, bilge water etc. to make the hull as light as possible.
By Wednesday this week the ship was already 100 ft. away from the rocky beach. From the beginning the strategy had been to winch the ship off the sea bed using a windlass and anchor system, keeping it constantly under tension to move it forward. Sea swells, when they occurred were also helpful in “bouncing” the ship off its resting place.
The ship was towed to Marina Fort Louis. It was understood inspections to evaluate the damage will now take place. During the night of February 28 to March 1, the ship’s anchor chain reportedly broke and caught in the propeller causing it to drift towards the beach.
Brn: Daily Herald