Chinese-Flagged Fishing Vessel Carrying 130 Tons of Oil Runs Aground Off Mauritius

A Chinese-flagged trawler that ran aground containing 130 tonnes of oil, is seen in the Indian Ocean waters at Pointe Aux Sables, on the western coast of the island of Mauritius, March 8, 2021. REUTERS/Reuben Pillay REUTERS

Chinese-flagged fishing vessel with 16 crew members carrying 130 tonnes of oil has run aground off Mauritius, causing a minor spill, a minister said on Monday.

“Nothing to be worried about,” Sudheer Maudhoo, whose Blue Economy Ministry looks after maritime affairs, told Reuters, saying 310 metres of floating booms were controlling the leak.

Drone footage showed dark patches in the Indian Ocean waters near the “Lu Rong Yuan Yu 588” after it ran aground on Sunday.

The incident followed July’s accident of the MV Wakashio, a bulk carrier that struck a coral reef off Mauritius and began spilling oil, prompting the government to announce a state of environmental emergency.

Maudhoo said the Lu Rong Yuan Yu’s captain made distress calls after his ship ran into trouble by Pointe Aux Sables.

Authorities brought crew members to shore. They are now quarantined in line with COVID-19 protocols.

“We hope to pump out all the fuel on board by tomorrow or the next day, then after four to five days, we will carry out a salvage operation to remove the ship,” Maudhoo added.

SOURCE: Reuters