02 Sep

August 28, 2011. Salvage teams and the authorities, headed by Captain Mansoor Ali of the SA Maritime Safety Association, are praying that favourable tides and a sizeable swell will help them drag The Phoenix ship off the rocks at Sheffield Beach at the end of the week.

The ship, which has become something of an attraction in the small community near Salt Rock since it was stranded at Sheffield Beach in late July, has been undergoing repairs to prepare it to be floated again.

Authorities say a swell of at least 2m will be instrumental in helping shift The Phoenix; anything less could make the operation difficult.

Click here for picture gallery of The Phoenix.

Ali told the Sunday Tribune, “What makes the refloating possible is the height of the tide and the swells. We are still optimistic.” He did say, however, that there were no guarantees that the operation would be successful.

The SA Maritime Safety Association aims to tow the vessel around 70km out to sea south-east of Durban, where The Phoenix will be sunk. The cost of salvage work on the vessel is already approaching R30 million.

The action was to take place on Tuesday, but the weather and tides have not played the game. The next attempts will be made on Friday, when traffic police and extra security measures will be put in place to handle the crowds expected to flock to Sheffield Beach’s narrow roads and beachfront to witness The Phoenix being removed.- Ridge Correspondent

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