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Feed barge sunk in heavy storm

Salmonids Technology & equipment People +2 more

Strong winds and heavy rain caused a feed barge belonging to Australis Seafoods to sink on May 3rd in the Errzuriz channel, in Chiles Aysn region, writes Christian Perez.

According to Chile’s Maritime Authority, the eight workers from the barge Australis XXII were evacuated unhurt within few hours by the wellboat Patagon VIII, as wind speeds ranged between 30 and 40 knots per hour.

Josefina Moreno, HR manager at Australis Seafoods, said that “we are very calm because all our personnel, who are our main concern and priority, are in perfect health. This is the result of timely and correct activation of the contingency plans we have in place, so a coordinated evacuation was carried out without difficulties”.

She added that the corresponding authorities have already been notified, “while internally we are analyzing the causes of this incident”.

The barge, which is thought to be worth in the region of US $750,000, contained feed systems, generators, a control room and living quarters. There are still some concerns surrounding the incident – for example about how Australis will control the potential leakage of oil and diesel from the sunken barge.

Another feed barge in the area reportedly faced an emergency due to water entering through a damaged area during the storm. However, it seems that the situation was controlled with the aid of an emergency pump.