Friday, September 15, 2006

Cargo Ship Runs Aground In Port Everglades

A cargo ship from Nassau, Bahamas, ran aground in Port Everglades near Fort Lauderdale. The U.S. Coast Guard was called to the scene to assess the situation. Lt. Cmdr. Chris O'Neil said the ship -- named Clipper Lasco -- is carrying a cargo of bauxite, which is generally processed into aluminum. There were nearly 30,000 metric tons of bauxite on the ship. O'Neil said the agency has not received any reports of pollution or injuries. The Coast Guard said the ship had no pilot and a crew of 15 to 20 people. It was carrying more than 300 metric tons of fuel.Coast Guard officials said the vessel was warned that it was in imminent danger of running aground and that despite being warned to alter its course, it kept going, Lewis reported. Capt. Timothy Morgan, of Seatow, said the ship might be stuck for days and that it could be a tough task to get it out. "The ship did go aground at high tide, which makes it a lot more difficult. We've been having extremely high tides lately, and at the time the vessel went aground it was pretty close right to the peak of high tide," Morgan said. It is unclear whether the ship ran aground on the coral reef or sand. The Coast Guard said that if the reef was hit or damaged, there could be penalties based on whether it was caused by mechanical failure or human error.

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