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Category: Pollution

Wakashio

Wakashio

Wakashio
Photo: pledgetimes.com

On July 25, the 300 meter long, 203130 dwt bulk carrier Wakashio ran aground three miles off Pointe D’esny, Mauritius. The Wakashio was on a return voyage to Tubarão, Brazil from Lianyungang, China. The bulk carrier was proceeding with just ballast, 3800 tons of bunker fuel oil and 20 crew on board. The vessel course would traverse the Indian Ocean to pass the capes of South Africa on to Brazil.

As the Wakashio approached the island of Mauritius, authorities attempted to alert the bulk carrier it was on the wrong course. Reports state the vessel had altered the standard course so the vessel could approach nearer to the coast. The course change was to allow the vessel to get a wifi signal while celebrating a crewmember’s birthday. During the celebration, the crew had no one attending the communications. Authorities attempted to contact the vessel for an hour until they finally got through. The master of the Wakashio insisted to Mauritius coast guard that the vessel’s course was safe.

Unfortunately, the Wakashio course drove the bulk carrier up on a reef along Mauritius southern coast. The bulk carrier was firmly aground at the stern while the bow was still floating free.  Fully exposed to the weather, the Wakashio began to substain damage over the next days. Several cracks appeared along the hull and the fuel tanks were ruptured. Bunker fuel began to leak out of the vessel and begun to wash ashore. Authorities had placed booms around the Wakashio, but were ineffective in containing the pollution. Authorities and local volunteers were able to remove some 150 metric tons of pollution off the beach. Experts estimate it will take several years to remove the majority of the pollution from the reef and shoreline.  Like the MS Olivia or the Rena which both ran aground and released a large amount of pollution, it may take decades before the entire environmental impact can be determined.

Wakashio

By August 6, the Wakashio had released some 1180 tons of fuel forming a 7 mile long oil slick.  The remaining fuel and oil on board the bulk carrier was transferred to small tankers by August 12. A few days later the vessel broke-in-two along the No. 8 cargo hold.  An additional 100 metric tons of lubricating oil was released. The bow section of the Wakashio is to be towed away and sunk in deep water.

Authorities have launched an investigation into incident. No reports if any criminal charges have been issued for the officers of the vessel.

Artur Paula

Artur Paula

Arthur Paula
Photo: agrodiariohuelva.es

The fishing vessel Arthur Paula caught fire and sank on the Ría del Carreras while berthed at the marina of Isla Cristina, Spain. Reports state the fire started after an explosion on board the Arthur Paula before spreading to nearby trawlers Maria Eduardo and Cortes Canales. The local fire brigade was alerted and were assisted by fire boats to extinguish the blaze.

The Cortes Canales sustained slight damage. The Maria Eduardo and Arthur Paula lines were cut allowing the trawler to drift away from the other vessels.  The Arthur Paula eventually burned to the waters edge and sank. The Maria Eduardo was gutted by the fire. Nearby equipment and nets on the dock also sustained damage by the fire.

Three crew members sustained injuries. Two crew had significant injuries requiring them to be  taken to hospital in Seville.

 

Authorities state some pollution had been released. Authorities have launched an investigation into the incident.

Wan Da

Wan Da

Wan Da

On April 15, the 45 meter long tanker Wan Da capsized and sank in the Malacca Straits near Johor, Malaysia. All the crew on board the Wan Da were able to escape before the vessel rolled over. Malaysian patrol vessels monitored the overturned tanker as it drifted across shipping lanes into Indonesian waters. Reports state Indonesian patrol vessels had secured a tow line to the Wan Da and tried to tow the tanker towards Riau Islands. Another report states the Wan Da sank before it could be towed to safety. Authorities state an oil spill was spotted off Tanjung Penyusop.