Over 1,000 tonnes of fuel oil leaks from grounded bulker in Mauritius

Wakashio (Photo: Nagashiki Shipping)

The owner of a bulk carrier that had run aground in southeastern Mauritius late last month has confirmed that approximately 1,020 tonnes of very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) had leaked from the damaged vessel into the surrounding waters.

Japan’s Nagashiki Shipping said that the beached Panamanian-flagged Wakashio was also in danger of breaking up as the crack in the hull that had resulted in the oil spill has since expanded.

Nagashiki assured that the leaked oil has been loaded onto small tankers that were deployed to the incident site to assist in debunkering operations.

The debunkering is still ongoing to remove an estimated 1,000 tonnes of VLSFO and 200 tonnes of diesel that remain on board.

Wakashio ran aground near Point Desny on July 25. Local officials said the captain had refused to change course even after he was advised of shallow areas along his planned route.

No injuries were reported among the crew while the vessel, which was not carrying any cargo, has since remained beached near Blue Bay Marine Park, a marine protected area.

Efforts at refloating have been repeatedly hampered by severe weather.

Baird Maritime

The best maritime site on the web. The sea's our scene!