Seamanship questioned as ship freed

ROTTERDAM 5 February – After a three-day struggle with salvors, the grounded heavy-lift carrier Zhen Hua 10 finally surrendered last night.

It needed 400 tonnes of bollard pull, supplied by three tugboats to get the 243.8m vessel afloat, and a helicopter of the Rotterdam-Rijnmond-branch of the Dutch Pilots’ Organisation to get salving inspector Piet Sinke of Smit Internationale onboard to co-ordinate getting the Zhen Hua 10 safely towed to the Euromax Terminal to unload of its cargo of gantry cranes. According to managing pilot Jan-Frans van der Hoek, the vessel just got in before Force 5 winds returned, which would have prevented it from entering port. As a representative of the Dutch Pilots’ Organisation, Van der Hoek refused to comments on port-related internet forums to the effect that no officer should allow his vessel to be anchored so close to the coast with a prevailing wind of Force 9, but said that it was up to the Port’s Inspectorate to establish the real cause of the grounding.