One stormy night last winter a ferry on the Ibiza to Formentera route, the Maverick II, ran aground on a rocky outcrop between the two islands. Passengers and crew were lifted to safety by helicopter but moving the catamaran type ferry has proved difficult since then.
All being well, if weather conditions – calm seas are needed – the boat will be lifted off the rock today in an operation which will last about 8 hours and involve around 20 people.
A giant crane will be used to lift the ferry from the rock into a waiting floating pontoon in which it can be towed into port. The crane, a Liebherr LR 1600/2, is worthy of an episode of the TV programme Megamachines and cost an incredible €7 million! Specially designed to be easily transportable, it was packed in 20 giant trucks in Barcelona, driven down to Denia, the nearest port to Ibiza, reassembled and floated out on another giant pontoon to Ibiza.
The rescue is being carried out by a specialist Basque company with years of experience using this type of machinery – the fire in the Windsor skyscraper in Madrid and the sinking of the Motxo fishing boat – are a couple of examples.
If all goes well there will be a one hour cessation of ferry services between the islands while the most difficult manoeuvre takes place.
Good luck everybody!
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