We have been watching the helicopter in the skies around Cape St Francis for days. No one quite knows what’s happening out there at Sharks Point, with all sorts of rumours swirling. Locals are worried about the reported tonnage of fish on the boat that is currently going vrot and that might be dropped into the sea.

Elke M Update

If that happens, Cape St Francis might be a no-go area for a few days as sharks of all sorts will most likely pull in and enjoy the smorgasbord of a late Christmas dinner courtesy of Elke M. They will be well fed, however, and most likely will not be a problem.

Below is the latest press release:

Favourable weather and sea conditions over the weekend saw the total amount of fuel removed from the grounded fishing vessel ‘Elke M’ reach 24 000 litres. The removal of the remaining fuel, together with non-oil pollutants, remains the priority of the operational team.

A helicopter continues to assist operations and fuel is removed in bulk IBC containers and landed at a demarcated landing site for transfer to road tankers. Fishing nets, crates and other debris is being recovered from the vessel and surrounds, and landed ashore.

Monitoring the situation

SAMSA will continue monitoring the operation, working in collaboration with the Incident Management Structure (IMS). This includes Owners, the insurers (P&I Club), municipality officials, the NSRI, salvors AMSOL, environmental management organisations, and other relevant parties.

Pollutants and Wreck Removal Directives have been issued in terms of the Wreck & Salvage Act as well as the Marine Pollution (Control & Civil Liability) Act. It is expected that, following the removal of all pollutants, the operation will focus on the next phase, which is wreck removal once a contractor has been appointed by Owners P&I Club.

Issued by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA).

For any further information please contact Tebogo Ramatjie on 0673255276

See also: Agter Elke M – What Is Going On At Shark Point?