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Ship runs aground in Buffels Bay

Authorities are concerned about the potential environmental impact of the 156 metre vessel.

FILE: A charge is used on the bow of the Seli 1 wreck at Bloubergstrand in Cape Town on 13 March 2013 with the aim of splitting and eventually sinking the remnants of the vessel. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The South African Maritime Safety Authority is assessing environmental risks in Buffels Bay near Knysna after a ship ran aground there on Thursday morning.

Two of 19 crew members sustained minor injuries when the 156 metre bulk container ship experienced engine problems late on Wednesday.

They have since been airlifted to safety.

The crew, who are Filipino and Ukrainian nationals, are in the care of border patrol and will be transported to Mossel Bay for visa control processing.

The National Sea Rescue Institute's Craig Lambinon says, "Attempts will be made to salvage the vessel and the Smit Amandla is en route from Cape Town, it's expected to arrive on scene at nightfall tonight. They will continue with efforts to salvage the vessel."

In March, the wreck of the Turkish vessel Seli 1 was blown up after it ran aground in Table Bay in 2009.

The ship was abandoned by its owners shortly after it ran aground.

The City of Cape Town and other department had to contribute money to get rid of the wreck.