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Google Earth Plug-in: Container Ship MV APL Panama beached at Ensenada - February 14, 2006

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Just south of Ensenada, Mexico, the container vessel APL Panama sat lying in the surf from the time it ran aground on Dec. 25, 2005, to its refloating on March 10, 2006. The spectacle drew the curious as salvage workers struggled to free the stranded behemoth for two and a half months.

The ship was on a trans-Pacific route, and its cargo included electronic components for Baja California manufacturing plants as well as parts for car factories in central Mexico. The delay in delivery prompted Nissan, the Japanese car manufacturer, to stop producing vehicles for three days last week at its Aguascalientes facility.

Led by Florida-based Titan Maritime LLC, salvage efforts since the grounding reportedly have succeeded in moving the bow 35 degrees, about a third of the distance necessary to pull it away from shore. A major effort late last month involved six tugboats and a barge equipped with hydraulic pullers, with a combined capacity of more than 80,000 horsepower.

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