Thorco Lineage Refloated, Drifting off Raroia

The recently grounded general cargo ship Thorco Lineage was refloated from its resting place on the Raroia Atoll, French Polynesia, on June 27.

The French navy’s vessel Bougainville, which was sent to the site to assist the 16,500 dwt ship, attached a tow line to Thorco Lineage in the evening hours of June 26 and started maneuvers to free the vessel.

Bougainville managed to free the cargo ship from the reef, however, the salvage mission was interrupted as the towing cable broke soon after. The team made a number of failed attempts to reattach the tow line.

Thorco Lineage is currently drifting in the open sea, south-west parallel to the west coast of Raroia, according to a statement by French Polynesia’s High Commissioner, René Bidal. The vessel is being monitored by Bougainville.

Joint Rescue Coordination Center French Polynesia (JRCC Tahiti) informed that, according to its drift prediction models, Thorco Lineage should continue drifting offshore in the Southwest.

A specialized tug, sailing from the port of Papeete, is on its way to the site. The unit is scheduled to reach the drifting vessel in the evening hours of June 28 and tow it to Papeete.

The team at the site managed to conduct an underwater inspection, discovering damage on the hull and the ship’s propeller, but there were no signs of pollution. The ship is believed to be suitable for several days of towing.

Additionally, the salvage team requested for an ocean-going tugboat to be sent from the United States to Papeete to tow the ship to a port with adequate repair capabilities later.

The 2014-built Thorco Lineage, operated by Danish shipping firm Thorco Projects, ran into trouble on June 23 after experiencing engine problems.

At the time of the incident, the cargo ship was on its way from Maryland, United States to Hobart, Australia.

World Maritime News Staff; Image Courtesy: French Polynesia’s High Commissioner