PHOTOS: Repairs to continue through night on container ship in Bantry Bay

Repairs are expected to continue throughout the night on the huge container ship, Atlantic Companion, which is anchored in Bantry Bay after losing engine power and drifting for almost 12 hours off Cork on Tuesday.

PHOTOS: Repairs to continue through night on container ship in Bantry Bay

The Swedish-flagged vessel was en-route from Liverpool to Halifax when it experienced problems with one of the six cylinders on its main engine.

However Gerry Callanan of ACL, the container shipping company which owns the vessel, told customers who have containers on board that he expects the vessel to resume its trans-Atlantic voyage at some stage tomorrow morning.

Photo: Courtesy of Sean Harrington, Atlantic Towage and Marine

Mr Callanan, who handles most of the container business for Ireland’s leading exporters, said the crew has everything they need on board to carry out the repairs.

The ship, which can carry up to 2,200 twenty foot equivalent units, and which normally has a crew of up to 12 on board, lost engine power at around 6am on Tuesday near the Fastnet Rock.

The coast guard monitored the situation throughout the day as the ship drifted in a south easterly direction for some 12 hours.

Photo: Courtesy of Sean Harrington, Atlantic Towage and Marine

The crew managed to restart engines at around 4pm and a decision was made to make for shelter to carry out full repairs at anchor.

Following consultation with the coast guard and the Port of Cork authorities, the vessel headed for Bantry Bay.

A major salvage operation, overseen by Atlantic Towage and Marine, was agreed and the ship made its way with restricted manoeuvrability to the mouth of the bay.

It was met by the pilot boat, Ocean Lass, and a pilot was put on board to guide the ship to a safe anchorage.

Photos: Courtesy of Sean Harrington, Atlantic Towage and Marin

It dropped anchor at around 2am yesterday and repairs continued throughout the day with Atlantic Towage and Marine’s powerful Ocean Bank tug remaining on standby close by.

Grimaldi-owned ACL said they expect the work to take around 24-hours.

ACL deals with some of Ireland’s leading manufacturing export companies.

Its ships their products in containers on board feeder ships which sail from Dublin or Belfast to link up with ACL’s vessels in Liverpool.

Atlantic Companion is one of ACL’s five so-called combi-container ships which plie the north Atlantic route every week.

The voyage takes around 10-days — its speed has helped ACL carve out a niche in the competitive export sector.

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