Posted on October 26, 2018 by Ilias Kiritsis
After having spent almost three weeks anchored off Cape Corsica, following a collision with a Tunisian-flagged RoRo, damaged boxship CLS Virginia has finally been given clearance to depart.
The vessel is headed toward the Port of Constanta, Romania, according to the latest information from the Italian Coast Guard.
Despite the massive tear in its hull, the ship has been able to sail on its own power, at a speed of 10 knots.
The ship was only given clearance to depart after its fuel tanks were completely emptied; a precautionary measure, meant to prevent any further damage to the local marine ecosystem.
Following strict guidelines set forth by the Italian Ministry of Environment, the CLS Virginia will be taking a route west of Sardinia, while maintaining a safe distance from the Italian Coast.
The journey is expected to take over ten days; the vessel will be closely monitored by the Italian Coast Guard in the process, in an effort to further avoid any potential accidents.
The original incident took place on October the 7th, when the Tunisian-flagged RoRo ,Ulysse, crashed into the anchored Cyprus-flagged containership, CLS Virginia, tearing a huge hole in its hull, rupturing its fuel tanks, and causing a significant oil spill in the process.
The two vessels were entangled for over five days, so as to avoid any further environmental contamination, before being successfully disentangled on October the 11th.
The combined efforts of Italian and French authorities ensured the successful containment of the oil spill. Having said that, a portion of hydrocarbons did make it to the beaches of Southeast France, but clean-up operations are underway.
Image Courtesy: French Navy/Marine Nationale