The 35.000 tonnes Liberian cargo ship, built in 1977 Fedra lies in two pieces adjacent to the Lighthouse at Europa Point, Gibraltar.
Salvage experts from the US company Titan Maritime, in Gibraltar to deal with the bulk carrier the New Flame, which ran aground just metres away in August 2007 were assisting in the rescue operation with one of its vessels, which was first on the scene. All 31 of the crew were rescued safely, over half by a Spanish helicopter from the maritime service which attended. Flying in the extreme weather was very demanding and it was forced to make an emergency landing at Europa point after its engines overheated. It took off safely on Saturday afternoon after assistance from RAF Gibraltar. Earlier on Friday the Fedra had advised the Gibraltar Port that she was dragging anchor and two tugs the Warrior and Wellington provided assistance prior to the ship going aground in heavy seas and fierce weather. Crew rescue operations were undertaken on Saturday. Gibraltar was affected by severe weather conditions with the Gibraltar Government Civil Contingency Committee sending out a Red Alert warning the general public that severe weather was expected to continue and possibly worsen during the next 24 hours. The remaining crew members were rescued in a basket suspended from a mobile crane. Emergency services and four tugs from Gibraltar and Spain worked non-stop to make effective the rescue whilst the ship was breaking in two. Jim Watt Gibnews.net