Containership Southern Phoenix sank at Fiji’s Suva Harbour during loading operations on Saturday.
According to the local maritime safety authority, the vessel was loading cargo and the load became unbalanced, which led to the tilting of the ship, and several containers fell into the water. The vessel was later towed out of port area by the tug boats.
All crew were evacuated from the ship in time, and no casualties were reported in the incident.
The authority is carrying out assessments to monitor any possible oil spill while investigating the cause of the sinking. According to John Tunidau, ceo of the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji, emergency response teams have been deployed with the help of fellow authorities to ensure that damage to the marine environment is minimised.
Southern Phoenix, owned by Fiji’s Cruz Holdings, is reported to have 183 tons of heavy fuel oil, 30 tons of medium diesel oil, 179 cargo containers, break bulk cargo and other cargo. Currently all floating containers have been secured.
Fiji Ports Corporation started the salvage operations of the vessel yesterday after preliminary assessment and the operations will continue today.