Mumbai Maersk Credit Central Command for Maritime Emergencies
Photo: Central Command for Maritime Emergencies

A new attempt to refloat the Mumbai Maersk, which ran aground at the mouth of the River Weser at around 11pm last night, is expected tonight.

The 20,568 teu vessel was heading for Bremerhaven when, according to VesselsValue AIS tracking data, it doubled back towards the German island of Wangerooge. The ship is grounded north of the island, about 25km north of Wilhelmshaven.

Claims consultant WK Webster described the reason behind the manoeuvre as “currently unclear”, as the ship “entered an area where dredging material is located”.

Maersk Line confirmed that initial attempts to refloat the vessel in the early hours today were unsuccessful.

Consultant Lars Jensen of Vespucci Maritime noted that spring tides were lower than usual and high tides higher. He added: “There are four “good chances” to refloat the vessel in the next 40 hours and, “after that, it becomes progressively more difficult”.

According to WK Webster, the Central Command for Maritime Emergencies is now in command of the situation and has two support vessels and five tugs deployed to assist in freeing the Mumbai Maersk.

Maersk Line said: “All crew are safe, there is no pollution and no sign of hull breach. The vessel is on ground on a shallow patch and the entrance to the port is not obstructed.

“A first attempt to free the vessel was unsuccessful. Extra tugs are being deployed and a new attempt is expected when they are in place at the coming high tide, around midnight on 3 February. All affected customers are being informed.”

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