GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — After unsuccessful attempts at freeing a grounded oil tanker off the Texas coast in the Gulf of Mexico, teams plan to remove cargo to reduce its weight, officials said Sunday.
The U.S. Coast Guard, other federal and state agencies and a salvage company will start Monday on the plan to free the 800-foot Yasa Golden Dardanelles, said Coast Guard spokeswoman Renee Aiello. Some cargo will be moved to another vessel in hopes that the tank ship will become light enough and float again, she said.
The Monday plan follows unsuccessful attempts Saturday evening to free the tanker using two tugboats during high tide, Aiello said.
There is no indication that its load of 621,000 barrels of low sulfur fuel oil has leaked or spilled, and the tanker is not blocking other ship traffic, Aiello said. Also, there are no reports of distress or injuries from its crew, she said.
The tanker ran aground 22 miles off the coast in sand sometime Friday while waiting for a pilot to guide it into the Houston Ship Channel. The ship ran aground on the north side of the Galveston Safety Fairway, an area that leads to the ship channel, Aiello said.
The tanker was built by Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. in Japan and delivered last spring to Yasa Tanker and Transportation S.A. of Istanbul, Turkey, according to a news release issued by Mitsui at the time. It flies under the flag of the Marshall Islands.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.