The 2,466gt Malaysian operated offshore supply vessels Go Regulus has had a series of accidents during its time at the Sturrock drydock in Cape Town.
The Sturrock drydock is 360m long but can be divided into two sections of either 132m and 216m or 205m and 143m with a floating caisson. The Go Regulus and another vessel were in one section of the dock and the Chinese factory trawler ship Longda in the other section next to the dock gate. This section was being flooded prior to floating out the Longda, when it appears that the floating caisson used to separate the dock into two sections prematurely open, causing water to pour unexpectedly into the second section of the dock. This caused the Go Regulus to nearly turn sideways in the dock and collided with the vessel behind it. Go Regulus sustained US$1.4 million damage to her side and bottom hull. The damage to the other vessel, which appears to be a fishing vessel, seems to have been less serious. The Longda was able to reverse out of the drydock without damage. The floating caisson reportedly had insufficient ballast water, which caused it to ‘pop’ open.
Just week weeks earlier the Go Regulus had sustained damaged in the same drydock. Ship repair company EBH SA had been conducting a routine periodic survey for the owners. The docking blocks used to support the vessel damaged the hull plating. Unconfirmed reports suggested that another vessel was also affected because the two ships docking design plans were accidently swapped.
The Cape Town Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has already spent money on repairing the Sturrock drydock's water circulating pumps. Further repairs are scheduled at the facility. Ten cranes for ship repair are being replaced at a cost of US$28.8 million. TNPA has undertaken a survey of what is required for the port's two dry docks, the larger Sturrock Dock and the smaller older Robinson Dock. For some time, local ship repair companies have expressed their concerns that unless a suitable maintenance programme is implemented the port would lose ship repair opportunities.