Written by Mike Schuler
27 January 2016 – The Mexican government is hoping to dismantle the bulk carrier Los Llanitos in the same spot at which it ran aground in October during Hurricane Patricia.
The new plan is a change from the earlier predictions that the ship would be able to withstand being refloated and scuttled in an area nearby.
Mexico’s Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (SCT) ordered the dismantling of the bulk carrier after reviewing a salvage report that explored four options for the disposal of the ship. The options included refloating and repairing the vessel in one piece, refloating the ship in two parts, dismantling the ship in place, or simply leaving the ship in place for it to be slowly eroded by the sea.
After reviewing all options, the agency decided that the first option is to dismantle the ship in place.
The 223-meter, Mexican-flagged Los Llanitos has beens stranded along the rocky Pacific coastline near Barra de Navidad, Jalisco since October 23rd when it ran aground after attempting to ride out powerful Hurricane Patricia. The first phase of salvage was completed in November, focussing on the removal of approximately 11,484 liters of oil, 489 cubic meters of diesel and other contaminants aboard the ship.
Officials initially determined that the vessel was beyond saving, and would need to be cleaned and scuttled in the area.
The approval needed to dismantle the vessel in place will be decided by Mexico’s Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) after it is determined that the new plan will not cause any harm to the environment.