Monday 22nd Oct, 2018

Huge waves smash Kea Trader as tender bidding nears end

Kea Trader, status as of 2018-02-05. Photo: Lomar Shipping
Kea Trader, status as of 2018-02-05. Photo: Lomar Shipping

WAVES of up to seven metres have stopped workers boarding the stricken vessel Kea Trader during the past month.

Kea Trader, status as of 2018-01-09. Photo: Lomar Shipping

Kea Trader grounded on a rock reef near New Caledonia in July last year while carrying a cargo of 756 containers.

A Lomar Shipping spokesman said cyclones and heavy storms had “generated up to seven-metre waves on site that have twice moved the forward section”.

“A change in direction of heavy seas initially rotated the bow into almost perfect realignment with the stern section in the middle of January,” the spokesman said.

“Further storms forced a significant lateral shift of the forward section this week, leaving both sections listing slightly.”

Kea Trader, status as of 2018-02-03. Photo: Lomar Shipping

Meanwhile a three-month tender process aimed at finding someone able to remove the Kea Trader from its rock reef is said to be nearing completion with a successful bidder expected to be named “within the next few weeks”.

“The approved plan involves an innovative solution for safely lifting and then removing the two halves of vessel intact from the reef to protect the marine environment,” the spokesman said.

“The approved contractor has also agreed to explore opportunities for continuing to utilise local suppliers within the New Caledonia region, subject to their suitability and the continued commercial viability of these arrangements.”





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