The catastrophic spill from the 300 m long bulk carrier Wakashio was successfully stopped. However, the port authorities assume that the vessel with over 200,000 tons deadweight may break up if the cracks in its hull continue to expand.
The vessel flying Panama flag ignored local navigational practices and thus, it went aground at the end of July not far from the coast of Mauritius. As a result, more than one thousand tonnes of bunker fuel leaked from the vessel in the protected reef area. Besides, there is still approximately twice as much fuel on board of the vessel.
Local authorities turned out to be more responsive than the government. They have made their own oil booms, while the government procrastinates with their response regarding an ecological disaster. It is also criticized for not having facilities on the island to cope with oil spill.
Nagashiki Shipping in Japan is the owner of the vessel and Mitsui OSK Lines are its charterers. Protection and indemnity club of Japan insured the vessel.
In their release, the charterers confirm that the cracks in the hull have widened. However, as it is made fast to a tugboat, it will not drift in case of a break up.
The Prime Minister of Mauritius said that the salvors had already discovered a few cracks in the hull of the vessel. The situation is really serious and they are preparing for the worst outcome. Whatever the case, one thing is quite obvious – sooner or later the vessel is going to break up.