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Oil disaster off Mauritius: Freighter broke in two - captain arrested by authorities

2020-08-18T21:04:33.895Z

Oil spill threatens Mauritius: the freighter that ran aground on the reef broke apart and lost massive amounts of oil. The island nation in the Indian Ocean declared an environmental emergency.



Oil spill threatens Mauritius: the freighter that ran aground on the reef broke apart and lost massive amounts of oil. The island nation in the Indian Ocean declared an environmental emergency.

  • On July 25, a freighter hit a reef off Mauritius - oil has been spilling ever since.
  • Now the fears have come true - the freighter broke in two.
  • Off the coasts, volunteers are trying to mitigate the impending disaster - Japan and France are sending aid. The captain of the freighter was arrested.

Update from August 18, 2020, 8.45 p.m.: After the oil disaster off the coast of the country, the authorities of Mauritius arrested the Indian captain of the wrecked freighter “Wakashio” . Like his Sri Lankan deputy , he will be tried on preliminary charges , police spokesman Shiva Coothen said on Tuesday.

The two seafarers were charged with endangering the safety of shipping and will have to appear again in court at the end of August. In addition, other crew members of the ship from Japan, which sails under the Panamanian flag, are to be questioned on Wednesday.

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Captain Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar leaves the courthouse in Port Louis, Mauritius.

© Rishi Etwaroo / L'Express Maurice / AFP)

Oil disaster off Mauritius: Freighter now broken in two - fears come true

Update from August 16, 2020, 1:18 p.m.: The terrible fears have come true: The freighter "Wakashio" that struck a reef off Mauritius broke into two parts. As the Japanese operator of the ship, Mitsui OSK Lines , announced, oil poured into the sea again .

Authorities estimated that around 90 tons of fuel were still on board the freighter at the time of the breakup . According to Mitsui OSK Lines, “a certain amount” of this flowed out of the ship. Since the “ Wakashio ” had been expected to break for days, ships of the coast guard had stood by to catch more oil that was running out. Previously, the rescue teams had pumped around 3,000 tons of fuel from the tanks in a race against time and bad weather .

Rescue teams are now supposed to tow the front part of the wreck , which makes up around two thirds of the ship , and sink it into the sea . This is to prevent further damage to the island's coast . The back third is still stuck in the reef .

Oil disaster off Mauritius: Freighter breaks apart - government fears ecological disaster

Update from August 15, 2020, 10:46 p.m.: TheThe government of Mauritius has since confirmed that the Japanese freighter "Wakashio" , which ran aground on a reef , is about to break. According to official information, a “considerable part” of the hull came off Saturday afternoon (local time).

As a result, the condition of the ship has worsened and "it could break apart at any moment," said the government's crisis team. "At 4.30 p.m. you could see a large piece of the front part of the ship loosening."

There are said to be around 90 tons of oil on board the freighter. As soon as the raw material runs out when it breaks up, coastguard ships that are already in the vicinity of the wreck are supposed to catch the oil. This endeavor could complicate the forecast bad weather in the coming days. According to predictions, waves four to five meters high are to be expected.

Oil disaster off Mauritius: Freighter “Wakashio” threatens to break

Update from August 15, 2020, 6.13 p.m.: The wrecked freighter "Wakashio" apparently broke up off Mauritius, as reported by Lemauria on Saturday. The news portal quoted Alain Donat from the Shipping Ministry, according to which the front part of the freighter is now carefully towed away.

The Japanese ship, almost 300 meters long, ran aground off the south-east coast of Mauritius around three weeks ago and was the plaything of the roaring sea for days. As a result, one of the ship's tanks tore open, and more than 1,000 tons of fuel ended up in the lagoon off Pointe d'Esny.

Meanwhile, the independent environmental consultant Sunil Korwarkasing confirmed to the German Press Agency , citing drone images , that the freighter broke in two. The government of the island state had already spoken of the worst ecological disaster that Mauritius has ever experienced.

Furthermore, emergency services and thousands of volunteers are feverishly trying to remove the oil from the affected area. Your already difficult work should now become much more difficult.

Oil disaster off Mauritius: Greta Thunberg intervenes - does she want to poke at those who caused it?

Update from August 12, 2020: An environmental emergency has now been declared because of the situation in front of the holiday paradise Mauritius . The crashed oil tanker caused an ecological disaster around the East African island. Now Greta Thunberg joins in too .

Of course, the environmental activist very much regrets the incident and the pollution in front of and on Mauritius. She does not stop at mere expressions of solidarity. Of course the oil and freight companies should pay for the damage they caused, ” the young Swede grumbles, “ but since they obviously don't care - please donate if you can. "She herself promises to contribute the equivalent of around 10,000 euros through her foundation.

Check out this post on Instagram

An environmental emergency has been declared in Mauritius after a ship ran aground off the shores and began leaking tonnes of oil. Of course the oil and shipping companies should be the ones paying for the damage they have done. But since they obviously don't care - please donate if you can. My foundation will donate 100,000sek (approx € 10,000) Link in bio to crowdfund recommended by @ fridaysforfuture.mauritius #KeepItInTheGround #MakeEcocideACrime (Video by ABC News)

A post shared by Greta Thunberg (@gretathunberg) on ​​Aug 11, 2020 at 1:17 PM PDT

The money goes to a crowdfund that was set up by the environmental NGO “Eco-Sud” . The Mauritius-based organization has been fighting for the ecological preservation of the island for over 20 years.

With the donations collected, the NGO does not only want to cover the costs of removing the oil . The tasks after the crisis are also in focus. This includes the observation of the consequences of the oil disaster, studies on the impact on marine life and possibly also the financing of legal action against the polluters .

Oil disaster in front of a vacation paradise: Situation off Mauritius worsens - freighter threatens to break

Update from August 11, 2020 : The situation is worsening off Mauritius . The wrecked oil freighter threatens to break in two. Around 1,800 tons are still on board . Rescue workers try to pump the oil out of the ship. The Japanese freighter “Wakashio” was tied to a tug to prevent it from drifting away. It is located about two kilometers from the mainland in a lagoon near several nature reserves.

1180 tons of fuel have already leaked from a crack in the tank, reports the news agency dpa . Around 460 tons of it were collected from the sea and on the beach. "This is the worst ecological disaster that Mauritius has ever seen," said Ken Arian, an adviser to the Government of Mauritius, as dpa reported. The accident was a "huge catastrophe for ecology," said Arian. "I don't know how many years it will take until (...) this region recovers."

The nation of the Indian Ocean has declared an environmental emergency. Japan pledged its full support to the vacation paradise. Environmentalists and experts ask why no more was done when the ship ran aground on June 25th . Drone images show the whole oil disaster.

Drone footage shows the extent of the oil spill in Mauritius https://t.co/p7sIoWzf2Q pic.twitter.com/2kPVcwOs76

- The National (@TheNationalUAE) August 9, 2020

A holiday paradise threatens disaster: Freighter off Mauritius is losing massive amounts of oil - thousands of volunteers are fighting

First report from August 9th

Mauritius - Large parts of the turquoise-blue sea are already colored brown-black - the picturesque coasts of the holiday paradise Mauritius are threatened by an environmental catastrophe of enormous proportions.

On July 25, a freighter with around 4,000 tons of fuel on board ran aground on a reef - but oil has only been leaking since last week. Due to the bad weather and rough seas, experts fear that the tanker's hull could continue to be damaged and lose even more of its cargo. Around 1000 tons have already leaked.

Oil spill threatens Mauritius: Thousands of volunteers help on the beaches

Thousands of volunteers from the local population tried to avert the worst for their island on Sunday:

The south coast of Mauritius Blue Bay is in poor condition, the locals are working hand in hand and doing their best to help. pic.twitter.com/Wmog85qykJ

- Mauritius Island (@MauritiusGuide) August 9, 2020

With the help of floating barriers, they try to prevent the oil slick from spreading further. But it is a race against time: the first lagoons with otherwise brilliant white sand are already covered with oil. Many of the helpers were also covered from head to toe with a film of oil after their work. Previously, Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth had declared an environmental emergency. Not only the beaches are threatened, but also coral reefs on the coast, which are among the most beautiful in the world. So far, all attempts to get the oil off the board by helicopter have failed due to the bad weather * .

Oil disaster off Mauritius: Japan and France send aid - crew are no longer allowed to enter the ship

The freighter comes from Japan, it had sailed under the Panamanian flag. The 20-person crew was able to be brought to safety, but has not been allowed to enter the ship since then - for reasons of investigation, only the captain, accompanied, should fetch the log from the ship.

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Thousands of helpers are fighting an impending oil spill in Mauritius

© Jean Aurelio PRUDENCE / L'Express Maurice / AFP

The ship operator Mitsui OSK Lines apologized for the accident and promised "to do everything possible to solve the case". Japan announced that it would send a team of experts on Monday . France had already sent experts and equipment from the neighboring island of La Réunion to Mauritius . (kat / AFP - * Merkur.de is part of the Germany-wide Ippen digital editorial network.)

In Germany they can be seen more and more often: mask refusers . On the bus and train, they are not ready to wear mouth and nose protection. It costs - or it doesn't. An overview. At a motorway service station near Berlin, travelers suddenly saw hands waving from a truck tarpaulin. Refugees called for help and water.

List of rubric lists: © STRINGER / L'Express Maurice / AFP

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2020-08-18

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