The reefer stranded in the South Atlantic after she was abandoned by the crew given its precarious situation caused by serious flooding of its holds, has been towed outside the Falkland Islands Outer Conservation Zone, according to the latest report from Baltmed Reefer Services operator of “Uruguay Reefer”.
”The MV Uruguay Reefer was towed by the escorting vessel, also managed by Baltmed Reefer Services, to an area in international waters approximately 202 NM north east of Stanley (Falklands' capital).
However the Athens based company strongly points out that the vessel's situation is constantly evolving, since the Uruguay Reefer continues to put in water.
When the emergency situation of the Uruguay Reefer” became known and confirmed by a release from the managers earlier in the week, the Falkland Islands government got in contact with Baltmed Reefer Services to impress upon the need to find a solution which avoids the vessel sinking in Falklands Conservation Zones.
On Sunday 7th May, when the decision to abandon the ship was taken as the flooding could not be contained, 42 crew members were transferred to the escorting vessel MV Taganrogskiy Zalivt, the Uruguay Reefer was reported in the Falkland Islands Outer Conservation Zone (FOCZ), 96 miles south east from Stanley.
FIG then decided to send the Fisheries Patrol Vessel Protegat to the scene where it has been monitoring the situation, given concerns the reefer is loaded with 560 tons of heavy fuel oil and 180 tons of marine gas oil, and apparently she was doomed.
However Baltmed Reefer Services revealed on Friday the stranded reefer had been towed outside the FOCZ, but with a situation constantly evolving.
Adding that ”the towing has stopped due to the fact that the Uruguay Reefer is in a precarious condition and the escorting vessel (another carrier- not a professional tug) is currently unable to continue the towing effort.
In effect the situation will be reassessed when the nearest (professional) tug approaches. The estimated time of the tug's arrival is 14/5 am. The Uruguay Reefer continues to put in water.
Uruguay Reefer” is reported to have a nearly full cargo of frozen Illex squid and Krill and is also reported to have sustained hull damage, probably ice, whilst operating with Krill vessels around the South Shetland Islands, 75 miles north of the Antarctic Peninsula.