The local press has only that it is grounded, the crew are in a hotel, an investigation is started, the underwriters have a person on site and they are all trying to figure out how to get the 40t fuel and 29 t oils off the ship. The local press does not indicate on a cause at this time.
San Antonio is a fair sizeable port with container, bulk, fishing and repair facilites. It is approx. 2 hrs SW of Santiago by fast “interstate style” divided highway. The city is one of the larger cities in Chile, but dirty. The environs are mainly wood, paper and fruit producing. I have never seen so many avacaodes in my life - huge, huge avacado ranches surrounded by electrified barbed wire ! There is a beach resort to the south of town, and it looks like the ship is between the port entrance (at the top of town) and the beach resort to the south.
The local weather has calmer seas today (0.5 to 1.5m) with swell from SW. This is pretty calm for winter on that coast. The Chilean Navy weather office - which is the primary source for Chile maritime wx, shows swells increasing over the next 72 hrs, back to 5m in the area of San Antonio.
It does appear the ship is doomed, but one thing the locals are reporting is the beach is sandy there, which can be seen from some of the alternate photos taken from the south looking north.
We lived very close to the beach in Chile, although in another city. In winter the swells were so big that 4m was just average in winter. They could really get going and the house, set on rock, would shake with the biggest ones. It was really fun to listen to. The authorities would close the port when it got really rough, sometimes for 3 to 5 days at a stretch, but this is pretty typical for Chile, the geography and swells. The ships would roll at the quayside, and no one wanted that due to potential for damage to ship and pier. We had a hell of a hard time dealing with our project cargoes and could never really stop the ships we dealt with from rolling to do our moves, which once started, had to continue. This affected our transport and port selections. And yes, you can feel an earthquake on a ship at peirside, exactly like it feels on the land alongside. Very freaky.
Ships do anchor very close in along the Chilean coast. There aren’t many truly sheltered Chilean harbors north of Valdivia - although Valpo does have a good headland to the SW, and there isn’t much shallow water. The anchorages are close to shore, but it is what there is. The swell is so big that it wraps around whatever headlands there are, except maybe at Mejillones which is more north facing.
Certainly I would anticipate being on round the clock attended engine room “standby” on the main engine in such an anchorage in that sort of weather.
If the seas come back up as forecast, OCEAN BREEZE could be a goner for sure. The hull can only absorb so much wave energy before letting go, and once the hull envelope and girder ore comprimised, it will be short work in a 5-6m swell. It was never calm for more than a few days in winter !
The local operators are Ultratug & Ultramar, and there are some others along the coast, but not nearly as big. They are great to work with, although they do not have a lot of big salvage tugs / gear.