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[Le Bouchon] – The Salvage Of MV Benita Has Cost Rs. 70 Million So Far

The insurer of the Liberian bulk carrier will surely have a bad day. Rs 6 million have already been disbursed for the transfer of ship fuel and for the pollution control measures. The contribution of experts bailout costs nearly Rs 5.5 million per day.

How much will the London P & I Club pay for the bailout of the MV Benita? Twelve days after the grounding of the Liberian bulk carrier of 44,183 tons on a plateau of volcanic rock at the entrance of the lagoon of Le Bouchon, the costs should already amount to over Rs 70 million. It’s nearly twelve times the amount that was paid to free the Angel One from reefs on which it was driven on shore broad of Poudre D’or after damage to the engine in August 13, 2011.

In the case of the Panamanian cargo ship, it took four months to unload 32,000 tons of rice and 1,000 tons of fuel before it was sent by 3000 meters deep at 55 km from Pointe-d’Esny. Concerning MV Benita – which was empty and contained only 160 tons of fuel in its tanks – more than Rs 6 million have already been disbursed to avoid an oil spill cap. The money was used to purchase pollution control dam from Arab Emirates (UAE) and their transport by cargo plane. As well as for equipment for cleaning agents.

Of these Rs 6 million, the largest share will go into the coffers of the Mauritian police. Indeed, its various helicopters were used to transport the Greek experts from the international firm Five Oceans Salvage (FOS) on the MV Benita. They were also required to transfer 126 tons – 131 tons of fuel already pumped on Tuesday – to the mainland. On Tuesday, the helicopter had to transport the emergency Salvage Diving Supervisor Nizamis Panaguitis from Le Bouchon to the central barracks, after a fall of 3 meters in one of the bulk carrier holds, so he was transferred by ambulance to a Northern Clinic.

The intervention of FOS itself would cost a minimum of 150 000 US dollars, nearly Rs 5.5 million daily for its expertise. It sent 24 experts – Nizamis Panaguitis will be replaced following a hairline fracture to a vertebra – the bulk carrier, welders recruited six submarines Mauritian and brought a US explosives expert from Mississippi on Tuesday to assist in its operation. A tow, the Ionian Sea FOS, has been holding the MV Benita by the bow since Friday June 17, and a second, the Coral Sea FOS that arrives tomorrow on Thursday from Fujairah, UAE.

Guy DeMarsh, the American expert has already had a working session with the Greeks and the men of the Special Mobile Force (SMF) on Tuesday to look into the case of a part of the rock that penetrated the hull of the bulk carrier through a gap of 1.50m. On Wednesday morning they will determine how to implode this rock without causing damage to the keel. Meanwhile, the black box of the bulk carrier, the Voyage Data Recorder (VDR), will be sent to Southampton, UK, by express parcels to be decrypted.

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