From: Associated Press
Published December 29, 2005 12:00 AM

Ship Carrying Toxic Cargo that Ran Aground in Azores To Be Dismantled

LISBON, Portugal — A ship carrying several tons of toxic material that ran aground in the Azores islands earlier this month will be dismantled after attempts to refloat it failed, the Navy said on Wednesday.


The Bermuda-registered CP Valour, with a crew of 21, got stuck in the shallow water of a bay off Faial island on Dec. 9. Despite attempts to make the ship lighter and pull it off the sea floor, the 180-meter-long (590-foot) vessel, which weighs about 15,000 tons, or 13,607 metric tons), has remained immobile.


The crew left the ship on Christmas Day.


"Heavy swells and the damage sustained by the ship when it got stuck make it impossible for it to be removed by sea," Adm. Rodriques Cabral said.


He did not say when dismantling operations would start but said it would probably not be finished until July or August.


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Last week a Portuguese air force helicopter lifted about three dozen drums of flammable and toxic material off the vessel and a support ship pumped about 550 tons, or nearly 500 metric tons, of fuel from its tanks before bad weather forced work to be stopped. Another 400 tons, or nearly 363 metric tons, is still aboard.


Authorities had meanwhile flown three planeloads of anti-pollution equipment, including floating booms to contain any oil spill, to the island.


Faial is the westernmost of the nine Azores islands, which lie about 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) off the western coast of Europe.


Source: Associated Press


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