NITC to start marine operations for sunken tanker in May

SHANA – The National Iranian Tanker Company CEO says the company has planned to start a series of search operations at the site of Sanchi tanker’s sinking.

The Sanchi oil tanker collision occurred on 6 January 2018 when the Panamanian-flagged, Iranian-owned tanker Sanchi, with a full natural-gas condensate cargo of 136,000 tonnes (960,000 barrels), sailing from Iran to South Korea, collided with the Hong Kong-flagged cargo ship CF Crystal 160 nautical miles (300 km) off Shanghai, China. Sanchi caught fire shortly after the collision; after burning and drifting for over a week, it sank on 14 January.

A series of underwater operations including diving and a submarine robot will be carried out at the site of the tanker’s sinking, he added.

The official said the operations are aimed at surveying the body of the ship, in order to examine feasibility of finding the remains of the ship’s crew members on board, and measuring and discharging the amount of fuel that may still be remaining in the tanks of the vessel.

The NITC CEO said: “Due to the plans and facilities provided, after examining the ship’s state, entry of divers into the sunken ship may be possible.”

According to Sardashti, ever since the incident happened, and parallel with rescue operations, NITC started pursuing the matter legally through the competent court via arrangements with the insurers and first-level international lawyers.