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THE swift incoming high tide plus the pulling power of three TNPA tugs prevented a serious situation in the Port of Richards Bay on Friday after a ship ran aground.
The Philippine-registered MV Beaumont had left its berth at the Richards Bay Coal Terminal shortly after 3pm after completing her cargo loading, assisted by two tugs.
‘It turned into the main channel and just kept on turning,’ said anglers who watched the drama unfold from Naval Island.
‘The tugs had already left her side and were heading back to the Small Craft Harbour.’
The ship was firmly grounded on the sandbank, and after a 30-minute battle to pull her off, a third tug assisted and the vessel was pulled free.
There were no apparent signs of damage or a pollution threat, and she was towed back to RBCT for inspection by surveyors.
The cause of the incident – possibly mechanical failure – has not yet been made known.
It is also unclear whether the vessel was under TNPA pilotage.