Genoa - Ro-ro cargo ship Grande America capsized and sank on Mar 12 at around 15.20, in some 180 nautical miles west of French coast.
A few hours earlier, the violent fire on board the Italian ship Grande America was still underway. The ship had a tilt on its right side that gets worse over time, as reported by the French Maritime Prefecture of Atlantic in the newest press release.
The fire-fighting operations carried out by the intervention and rescue tug “Abeille Bourbon” had been suspended: firstly because they might have accentuated this tilt phenomenon and secondly because the watering done on the bridge did not currently allow the control of the fire located inside the ship.
The Italian vessel continued to drift weakly to the east and is currently about 200 nautical miles (350 kilometers) off the coast of France.
About ten containers have fallen into the water near the ship. An overflight of the area by a Falcon 50 maritime surveillance aircraft had been scheduled during the day for their relocation.
The multi-mission frigate (FREMM) Aquitaine arrived in the area of the operations yesterday in the late afternoon. The evaluation and intervention team was able to make an overview of the “Great America”, allowing the experts of the CTC (Crisis Management Center) of the maritime prefecture in Brest to have additional elements to assess the situation on the ship.
The Grimaldi Group, taking into account its obligations as owner of the vessel, commissioned the company Ardent, salvage sector, which chartered two tugboats in order to reach the ship in difficulty: the Union Lynx, from Vigo (Spain), scheduled to arrive in the evening and the Tera Sea Hawk, from Rotterdam, is expected to arrive tomorrow night in the area of the operations.