The 40-year-old, 164m oil tanker was on her way from West Africa to a scrapyard in India and had a 15-man skeleton crew on board. Thursday, 28.Jul.2011, 01:13 (GMT+3)
The "Phoenix" went aground in heavy seas in Christmas Bay near Durban, South Africa.
The 40-year-old, 164m oil tanker was on her way from West Africa to a scrapyard in India and had a 15-man skeleton crew on board.
She was under the control of a skeleton crew as it was headed to India to be scrapped. As the vessel encountered rough seas, the crew dropped anchor to ride out the bad weather.
However, the anchor line broke and the vessel began to drift towards shore. The "Smit Amandla" attempted to connect a towline to pull the "Phoenix" to deeper water, but the weather conditions made it impossible.
Waves were 4 to 6 meters and winds reached up to 30 knots. Pushed by the waves, the vessel struck bottom some 200 meters from the shore.
The RNSI responded sending out three helicopters who airlifted all 15 crew to safety. The company Smit Amandla Salvage has already begun operations, but it is likely the vessel will be cut for scrap where it currently rests.