MV Benita Being Towed to Indian Coast

Following the refloating of the bulk carrier MV Benita on July 23, the Greek owner of the vessel Unit Maritime is making arrangements to tow the vessel to Alang, India.

Tug Ionian Sea FOS with salvage crew on board remains connected to the 44,183 dwt bulker and is currently towing at slow speed towards the Indian continent while the tow-worthiness of the vessel is being assessed, the salvage company Five Oceans Salvage said, adding that the Tug Coral Sea FOS has been released.

MV Benita was refloated from the coast of Mauritius after being stuck at the site since June 17. The Liberian-flagged vessel was then towed to a position some 20 miles off the coast, while a skeleton crew remained on board in order to assess the ship’s seaworthiness and general condition.

Prior to the refloating, the vessel’s bunker fuel, lubricant oil and other pollutants on board were removed. Cargo tanks and void spaces were sealed before being pressurized in order to facilitate the successful refloating attempt.

The 1998-built bulk carrier, which was carrying some 145 tons of oil at the time of the incident, ran into trouble as a result of a fight which broke out between the vessel’s crewmembers.