A loaded cargo ship arriving in the Northern Vietnamese port of Hai Phong blacked out Thursday morning causing the ship to drift into the embankment and become precariously positioned under a new highway bridge in the port serving Hanoi. The 12,000 dwt Outrivaling 3 was inbound from Shanghai loaded with a cargo of iron and steel. It took more than five hours to free the vessel coordinating efforts to the tide on the river.
Vietnamese officials insisted that the vessel never struck the underside of the bridge damaging its steel girders. However, as the tide rose, the forward crane tower became wedged in a dangerous position on one side of the bridge and if the vessel continued to drift upriver its radar mast was in danger of striking the other side of the bridge.
Outrivaling 3 was approaching the Hoang Dieu Port when officials said the vessel lost engine power and the ability to maneuver. It was carried upriver on the current with its bow passing under the bridge while its stern drifted into shore hitting the embankment and taking down a section of the railing and lampposts.
Seven tugs were dispatched with two fixing stern lines to prevent the vessel from drifting further under the bridge while another was positioned between the ship’s bow and embankment to prevent it from drifting further out of the channel. Port officials ordered the vessel to also drop its anchor to fix the bow position. They said rubber shock absorbers along the embankment prevented further damage from the drifting ship and they expected would also limit damage to the vessel.
The local police, army, and maritime safety authority all responded to the scene and determined with the tide rising that they would wait on the tide before reversing the ship from under the bridge. The tugs were able to successfully remove the ship from under the bridge and move it to a pier where it is being inspected.
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