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Coveney Welcomes Successful Refloating of the Pantanal

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, today welcomed the successful refloating of the Pantanal in Galway Bay this morning.

Minister Coveney paid tribute to all those involved in what he described as "a very successful operation in very challenging conditions. Having visited Ros an Mhíl yesterday evening and spoken to those involved, including the Harbour Master and the Coast Guard, the scale of the challenge was evident, involving such a large vessel carrying a substantial fuel load. There was a very real threat to the marine environment and it is a testament to the professionalism of all those involved that such a threat was averted."

The Minister said that he was "glad to have had the opportunity to see at first hand the professionalism and competence of all the agencies involved, including the Harbour Master and his staff, the Irish Coast Guard, An Garda Siochana and Galway County Council." Minister Coveney also acknowledged the assistance and co-operation provided by the ship's representatives in reaching a successful conclusion to this incident.

Minister Coveney confirmed that "the incident would be thoroughly investigated by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board". The Minister said that "the vessel is now anchored off the north Clare coast where it is currently undergoing a detailed inspection. The vessel will continue to be monitored by the Irish Coast Guard on the AIS system (Automatic Identification System)."

Date Released: 01 April 2011