All hands on deck to refloat Mega Boxship M/V Mumbai Maersk

The Danish shipping giant, Maersk confirmed the grounding of its Mega ship M/V Mumbai Maersk in the North Sea just off Germany, not far from a popular tourism island.

The container ship which ran aground at the mouth of the River Weser at around 11 pm on Feb 2nd, 2022, reported no impact on the entrance of the Port of Bremerhaven, one of the largest ports in Europe, no pollution, no sign of hull breach and safety of crew aboard. 

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”

Ever since the incident, continuous attempts to refloat the ship are ongoing. Maersk Line confirmed that initial attempts to refloat the vessel in the early hours were unsuccessful.

After a failed attempt to refloat the ship at the first few high tides, another attempt to refloat the vessel at the next high tide was expected yesterday at midnight. 

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.

“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.”

The MV Mumbai Maersk, built-in 2018, is one of the largest ships in the world, coming in at 399 meters long and 19,630 TEU capacity. The ship is registered in Denmark.

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