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Johannesburg - The Japanese embassy is concerned about a 50-metre-long fishing vessel that ran aground off First Beach in Clifton, Cape Town, it said on Thursday.

“The government of Japan has strongly urged the owner of the vessel to fully co-operate with the South African authorities and to take urgent actions help salvage the vessel,” it said in a statement.

“The embassy of Japan will continue to co-operate fully with the government of the Republic of South Africa for the expeditious salvaging of the vessel.”

It expressed “sincere appreciation” to the South African Maritime Authority, the National Sea Rescue Institute and the South African government for attempting to salvage the ship.

The Japanese vessel, named Eihatsu Maru, ran aground at 5.15am on Saturday in thick fog.

The City of Cape Town said earlier in the week that attempts at salvaging the ship would continue into Friday.

On Wednesday, the salvage team welded into the longliner a bracket which could withstand the required pull force.

The team would also drain between 90 and 110 tons of diesel fuel from the ship into a rubber bladder on the beach which would then be transferred to a fuel tanker.

“Traffic services has been requested to assist in securing access on the road, for the fuel tanker to park at the most efficient point for fuel loading,” the city said.

“The salvage team will attempt to tow the vessel off the beach on Friday, once the fuel has been removed and the bracket secured,” the municipality said.

Of the 28 Taiwanese crew members on board, 19 were evacuated. The remaining crew and the captain were required to stay on the ship under international maritime law. - Sapa

The Eihatsu Maru was finally pulled back into the ocean this afternoon, 6 days after it ran ashore under dense fog off Cape Town.

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