Watch: Italy's Largest Container Port Reopens After MSC Boxship Refloats

Watch: Italy’s Largest Container Port Reopens After MSC Boxship Refloats

MSC Elaine msc boxship

Operations have resumed at Italy’s largest container port, Gioia Tauro after an MSC containership veered off course and grounded on the southern breakwater at the port’s entrance.

The incident occurred on Monday morning, January 9, and resulted in the suspension of operations at the port, trapping eight other ships in the harbor.

The MSC Elaine (IMO: 9393321), a 1,114-foot vessel with a capacity of 8,500 TEU, was outbound from Gioia Tauro and bound for Malta with the assistance of two port tugs when it struck the breakwater for unknown reasons. Despite good weather at the time of the grounding, the Italian authorities have stated that winds were between 6 and 9 knots and do not believe that wind and sea conditions contributed to the incident.

The port authority sent a patrol boat to the scene immediately after the grounding and reported no signs of leaks from the vessel or any visible damage. Five local tugs were also dispatched to participate in the efforts to free the containership. The operation to free the vessel continued overnight and into the following morning.

The Guardia Costiera reported that the bad weather conditions and the force of the wind and sea paradoxically aided the efforts. The port entrance was cleared by 8:00 am local time.

The MSC Elaine has been moved to the anchorage outside the port, where local divers are inspecting the hull. The Coast Guard is also investigating the circumstances of the grounding.

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