MSC Korea runs aground in the Savannah River
The Savannah River was closed to all commercial vessel traffic after a Mediterranean Shipping Co. containership went aground in the channel at 1:45 a.m. Tuesday.
According to the Coast Guard, the MSC Korea, a 796-foot Panamanian-flagged containership, lost power during its outbound transit and ran aground on the South Carolina side of the river near Elba Island. It was then moved into safe water within the navigational channel by four tug boats without further incident.
MSC Korea’s crew checked all tanks on the vessel and found no indication of an oil leak or flooding. Coast Guard personnel report no sightings of oil in the water.
The anchored MSC Korea was able to immediately restore power. The Coast Guard said four tugs were standing by and it the ship would be moved to a waterfront facility or to an offshore anchorage so commercial traffic on the Savannah River may resume.
Chief Ivan Smith of the Coast Guard said that as of 3 p.m. Tuesday, the river was still closed, and the Army Corps of Engineers was inspecting the channel to make sure there was no obstruction. The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident and the captain of the port will make a determination on when to reopen the channel.
The Coast Guard said that prior to departing the Port of Savannah, the MSC Korea will be required to complete a dive survey of the hull to ensure no structural damage exists. The ship’s crew must also have a marine surveyor determine the reason for the loss of power and the proper course of corrective action.
The 1996-built ship has a container capacity of 3,400 TEUs and is deployed independently by the Geneva-based carrier on a service connecting the U.S. East Coast with ports in the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.
' Chris Dupin