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CICT salvages storm-ravaged ‘MV Theseus’


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A container carrier that sustained damage in tropical storm ‘Sagar’ in the Gulf of Aden, nearly 2,000 nautical miles from Sri Lanka, has been turned around in just 36 hours by Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) when it arrived in the Port of Colombo.

The 369-metre, 14,424 TEU MV Theseus, operated under Ocean Alliance’s Asia-Mediterranean service by Evergreen Line, was en-route to Colombo on its weekly scheduled call after Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, when the storm hit. Some of its containers were washed away while others were crushed, scattered around or left hanging along the stacks.

On receipt of a distress call, the operations team from CICT boarded the vessel for a pre-inspection and developed a comprehensive action plan with a dedicated team of ship-to-shore gantry operators and experienced stevedores, after which vessel was brought alongside the CICT berth, by the pilots of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA).

The salvage operation commenced with an inspection of all damaged containers by a professional surveyor. Thereafter, the CICT team launched the simultaneous lashing and unlashing operation, which involved unlashing the damaged units, lashing adjacent containers to secure them and discharging the damaged units.

After CICT’s efficient operation which was completed in less than a day and a half despite the harsh weather conditions, the MV Theseus was swiftly despatched to its next stop in Singapore.

This was the third such salvage operation carried out by CICT in the past three years. In 2015 CICT completed a complex salvage operation for the weather-damaged MOL-Cosmos and in 2017 aided in the salvage of the Panama-flagged MSC Daniela which caught fire 120 nautical miles west of the Colombo Port. 

Commending and thanking CICT for its role in the salvage of MV Theseus, Preethilal Fernando, Executive Director of Hemas Maritime Ltd., the agent in Sri Lanka for Evergreen Line said: “The positivity showed by your team from the inception is truly commendable and we admire the team work, planning and operational flexibility demonstrated by the team. With such operations, we are confident that CICT will be a catalyst in fulfilling the country’s vision of being a maritime hub in the region.”

“CICT is proud to have been able to provide its expertise to MV Theseus at a time of need, and is also thankful to the Sri Lanka Ports Authority for providing the safe navigation and berthing and un-berthing of the vessel,” said CICT General Manager Marketing and Commercial Catriona Jayasundera. “We are also happy to contribute to the Port of Colombo’s growing reputation for operational excellence.”

Recently adjudged the Best Container Terminal in Asia in the Under 4 million TEUs at the Asian Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain (AFLAS) Awards, CICT, which commenced operations in July 2013, manages the Colombo South Terminal of the Port of Colombo, the first and currently the only deep water terminal in South Asia equipped with facilities to handle the largest vessels afloat. In four years of operation, CICT has brought some of the largest vessels plying the Asia-Europe routes to Colombo. Of these, Milan Maersk (20,568 TEU), MSC Maya (19,224 TEU), Mogens Maersk (18,300 TEU), MSC New York (16,652 TEU), CMA CGM Marco Polo (16,020 TEU), Edith Maersk and EMC Thalassa Hellas (each 14,000 plus TEUs) and their sister vessels are now regular callers at CICT.


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