After an unsuccessful attempt Friday, January 29, maritime authorities hope a new attempt their luck Saturday. Experts from salvage and refloating await more favorable weather to try to prepare the Modern Express towing. To recall, this great ship is adrift for five days off the French coast in the Bay of Biscay. Reinforcements should arrive to lend a hand to professionals already there. The team of specialists of Smit Salvage Dutch society, mandated by the shipowner, should receive the backing of two morning crew by helicopter. Friday at the first attempt, one of them had to be evacuated, slightly wounded in the shoulder. "By his own admission it could have been much more serious, and believes it was very lucky," said a spokesman of the prefecture. Friday, despite a strong swell, four experts Smit had boarded the freighter operation perilous cottage with 40-50 degrees. They have spent a first "pass line" light between the cargo and tug. But it broke as a result of the movement of vessels, caused by the swell. Then the coming of the night interrupted the attempt. Experts want to pass a cable around the Iron Giant order to then tow it.
A rescue pushed back to Monday?
The weather Saturday morning "is deteriorating", and the conditions are less favorable to a new trial, with winds of 60 km / h, with gusts to 70 km / h, heavy seas, 4 hollow to 6 meters, said the prefecture. Rescuers were awaiting for a full briefing at midday and a decision on a new trial. They may well stay down this Saturday, especially as the weather is expected at this stage, no frank improvement Sunday.
The Modern Express, a ro-ro 164 meters long registered in Panama, carrying 3,600 tons of timber, work gear, and 300 tons of fuel oil propulsion, drift since Tuesday, about 2 knots (3.7 km / h), according to a statement from the prefecture mid morning. It was Saturday at about 216 km west of the mouth of the Gironde, 234 km from La Rochelle. The 22 crew members of the cargo ship had been evacuated by helicopter Tuesday after a distress signal issued after a forest cottage to causes still undetermined, possibly a cargo shifting, speculated Friday maritime experts. Several buildings remained Saturday by area: a French frigate, a tugboat chartered by the French Navy, a decontamination building, and two Spanish tugs engaged by the Lifesaving Society.