Los Llanitos: breaking up near Manzanillo. Los Llanitos: breaking up near Manzanillo.

Wrecked in hurricane, freighter breaking up

Bulk carrier went aground near Manzanillo, Colima, during Hurricane Patricia

The 38,000-tonne freighter that was driven aground near Manzanillo, Colima, by Hurricane Patricia two years ago is breaking up.

But there is no sign of oil leaking from the 223-meter Los Llanitos, say environmental officials.

The Mexican-flagged ship was wrecked October 23, 2015 at Punta Graham, about 43 kilometers from Manzanillo, during the category 5 hurricane. It had been ordered to leave the port and take shelter from the storm in Lázaro Cárdenas, but the captain delayed his departure by 11 hours and headed in the opposite direction. No explanation for the captain’s actions has been given.

The ship was unable to handle the winds of more than 200 kilometers per hour and waves up to 10 meters high. Twenty-seven crew members were taken off the ship by helicopter after it went aground.

Later, salvage crews removed several thousand liters of oil, diesel and other contaminants, although there were reports in July that there were signs of an oil leak.

Officials with the environmental agency Profepa made an inspection of the vessel yesterday when they found it was breaking up. Inspections are being carried out twice a week.

The federal Communications and Transportation Secretariat had ordered the dismantling of the ship after it was decided it would not withstand being refloated and scuttled in another location nearby.

Dismantling required the approval of the Environment and Natural Resources Secretariat, and it’s not clear whether that approval was ever granted.

Source: Televisa (sp)

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