A Belize-registered freighter ran aground near Taitung's Fugang Harbor on March 8. After three failed attempts, the freighter was finally able to return to deeper waters on the 22.
At 8 a.m. on March 22, two tugboats made a fourth attempt to tow a 6,000-ton freighter that had run aground near Taitung's Fugang Fishing Harbor back into deeper waters. The hull swayed a little, and then the vessel began moving. Previously, containers weighing 1,600 tons were removed from the freighter to facilitate this operation.
Liu Chih-hung, Deputy Director-General, Maritime and Port Bureau: “The ship will now be inspected as it floats in the waters off of Taitung. If no problems are found with the hull, then it will be towed to the Port of Kaohsiung within one or two days for repairs and to discharge the cargo. ”
The Belize-registered freighter ran aground on March 8 after its engine malfunctioned. The Maritime and Port Bureau said it has been in constant contact with the owner about the operation, and will issue a fine in accordance with regulations. Three attempts were made to tow the ship before the fourth successful attempt. However, the ship was too heavy to be towed. The bureau finally asked a crane operator to come and offload containers. It said the total cost is about NT$90 million, and it will charge the owner.
Liu Chih-hung, Deputy Director-General, Maritime and Port Bureau: “As of now, we spent nearly US$3 million. We will speak with the ship owner and related units about compensation.”
The bureau's preliminary evaluation is that the hull was not damaged, so there should be no issues with oil spills. Nevertheless, it will continue to monitor the situation.