Oil spill sighted in Strait of Malacca following vessel collision

Photo: Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency

Malaysian authorities have confirmed the occurrence of an oil spill in the Strait of Malacca following a collision between two commercial vessels on Sunday, July 11.

The incident occurred shortly after 00:00 local time when the UK-flagged containership Zephyr Lumos collided with the Maltese-flagged bulk carrier Galapagos some 14 nautical miles off Kuala Sungai.

The containership’s bow struck the bulk carrier’s starboard side, causing a hull breach that then caused a yet-undetermined quantity of oil to leak into the surrounding waters.

Galapagos‘ agent said the ship had suffered a rudder failure, which then rendered it unable to manoeuvre out of the path of the approaching container vessel.

The bulk carrier was still able to sail under its own power despite the damage. Zephyr Lumos meanwhile suffered only minor bow damage from the collision.

No injuries have been reported on either vessel.

The bulk carrier was en route from Visakhapatnam, India, to Gladstone in Queensland, Australia, while the containership had just departed Singapore and was heading for the Suez Canal when the incident occurred.

The crews of both vessels are currently detained in Malaysia as part of an investigation by local maritime authorities.

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