Double-hull tanker grounds off Puerto Rico, but no oil is spilled

The 748-foot tank ship Margara grounded three miles south of Tallaboa, Puerto Rico, near midnight on April 26 while it was waiting for a harbor pilot to arrive. The Cayman-flagged ship was loaded with 308,809 barrels of No. 6 fuel oil.

A tug assisting the ship notified the Coast Guard of the grounding at 0115 on April 27. The ship had traveled from Cartagena, Colombia.

Ricardo Castrodad, a Coast Guard spokesman, said the ship only ran aground in the bow section. Later that morning as the tide rose, the vessel indicated it was moving and was assisted by tugs. Later in the day, the ship appeared to shift again and by midnight, with additional assistance from three tugs, it floated free. By that time, a pilot was onboard and navigated the ship to a deep water holding position five nautical miles off Guayanilla Bay where divers inspected the hull for damage and found none.

Margara, a double-hull Panamax ship, was built in 1999 and is owned by Scorpio Ship Management of Monte Carlo. There were no reports of pollution and the ship was eventually cleared to enter Guayanilla Bay to offload its cargo before departing again for sea.

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the grounding.

By Professional Mariner Staff