APL Panama meets Mexico Beach

Cast your mind back to Christmas 2005. Picture yourself on a beach just south of Ensenada, Mexico. The sun is shining. The sky is a shimmering baby blue. It’s tranquil and calm.

At that moment, the APL Panama chugs past waiting to come into port. The port pilots and tugs that guide ships in are running an hour late.

Rather than wait an hour the captain of the APL Panama decided that he’d navigate the ship in himself.

What happened next turned into a public spectacle with the world watching on and a two month nightmare for anyone waiting on their freight.

The  captain managed to run aground the 260 metre long vessel, which was laden with about 35,000 tonnes of cargo.

Multiple tug boats were sent out to free the ship, but all failed. 

It was decided that some of the containers would need to be removed, making the vessel lighter.

The sky crane helicopter (how cool!) was dispatched to remove some of the cargo.  The fuel from the vessel was also drained to ensure that the disaster didn’t turn into an ecological nightmare too.

Finally, two months later, the container vessel was freed by an army of tug boats.

 We’re sure that everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

 The locals must have enjoyed the vessel’s visit because they made an APL Panama float for the Ensenada Carnival Parade dedicated to the spectacle!


Image credit : cargolaw.com