Modern Express drifts off La Rochelle

Modern Express drifts off La Rochelle

Images released yesterday evening from French authorities show the abandoned roro Modern Express has all but capsized.

22 crewmembers from the Cido-controlled roro Modern Express were rescued by Spanish Search & Rescue helicopters on Tuesday evening off Cape Ortegal in Galicia. The ship, which was listing 40 degrees at the time, has since drifted north into the Bay of Biscay and the listing is now more than 50 degrees, and appears to be taking on water. The ship’s latest position is to the west of La Rochelle.

“The only danger of the Modern Express is for navigation. It is still very far from the coast and carries no hazardous cargo or is liable to cause pollution,” a local French maritime official was quoted in French media as saying.

Smit Salvage has been contacted to handle the removal of the vessel and a plan is expected to be presented tomorrow.

The ship was in stormy weather en route from Gabon to Le Havre when a shift in the cargo caused the initial list.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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