THE 19,100-TEU CSCL Indian Ocean has been refloated and put into the Port of Hamburg having been grounded at high tide in the River Elbe, reported Bloomberg.
In a joint operation the Central Command for Maritime Emergencies, the Federal Water and Shipping Administration, salvage companies, owners and Elbe pilots have managed to refloat the ship with the help of tugs.
A total of 12 tugs were involved in the operation. First the ship was made lighter by pumping off fuel and ballast.
Dredgers and water jets prepared the ground around the ship for refloating. The tide, higher than normal, provided additional help for the operation.
"All emergency services worked professionally and effectively together, making the Elbe safe pilotage waters." said Ben Lodemann, chairman of the Lotsenbruderschaft Elbe pilot's association.
The CSCL Indian Ocean, one of the largest containerships in the world, was grounded after a rudder malfunction.
The ship was brought to the north edge of the fairway. This manoeuvre enabled the navigation channel to be kept open for shipping. Possible damage on the south edge of the navigation channel was avoided.
After several failed attempts to budge the 400-metre ship, owned by China Shipping Group Co, 13 tugboats were deployed to pull the vessel during a spring tide, when the earth aligns with the Sun and the moon, boosting the water level by 1.2 metres above the average.
It's the first time a ship of this size has become stranded in the German waterway, which is a major import and export hub for Europe's largest economy.
Source : HKSG.