Expatica news

Rough seas delay salvage of poison drums

5 January 2004

AMSTERDAM — Attempts to salvage three poison containers that Ethiopian cargo ship Andinet lost in the North Sea on 21 December has been postponed until at least Thursday due to rough seas.

The Department of Public Works and Water Management said the weather conditions will be reassessed on Wednesday night, but no further work will be conducted until then, news agency ANP reported.

The salvage operation started on Saturday night at about 7pm and Dutch salvage company Multraship Towage & Salvage reported at about midnight that it had succeeded in anchoring a platform to the north of the Wadden Sea island of Texel.

But wind unexpectedly blew up, forcing a premature end to salvage works. The department of water management has since said that weather conditions must be satisfactory for at least several days before work can resume.

A total of 630 drums — each containing 100lr of arsenic pentoxide, an agricultural poison — were dumped in the North Sea when the Andinet lost three freight containers during a severe storm shortly before Christmas.

The Andinet was en route from Antwerp to the German port of Bremer when the three containers were lost overboard. But the ship also lost about 50 to 60 loose drums of the poison when a freight container broke open. About 5000lr of arsenic pentoxide polluted the North Sea.

The drums are located in about the same region as the three containers and the department of water management was holding talks with the Andinet insurer, P&I, about the salvage of the drums.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news