Bulk Carrier Hard Aground in Mauritius After Fight On Board

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Image courtesy: lexpress.mu

Update: Insurer Says Benita Grounding a Medical Issue, Not Mutiny

A 44,000 DWT bulk carrier is hard aground in Mauritius after a fight apparently broke out on board among crew members, with some reports going as far as describing possible mutiny. 

Local media reports that Liberian-flagged MV Benita was sailing from India to Durban, South Africa when a fight erupted in the engine room Thursday night, resulting in the ship drifting into land along the southeast coast of Mauritius.

Details are still a bit sketchy, but the melee was reportedly started by the Chief Engineer, who was arrested by the National Coast Guard after locking himself in the engine room of the vessel.

One crew member, another engineer, was injured in the incident and had to be flown to a local hospital for treatment.

As of Friday evening one tug was on scene to help free the ship, but images posted online seem to indicate that more than one tug will be needed to successfully refloat the vessel. 

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Credit: MarineTraffic.com

AIS data shows the ship underway when it abruptly changed course and sailed (or drifted) straight into the island. 

The 23 member crew is made of up Filipino and Taiwanese nationals. 

The ship is reportedly not laden with cargo, but is carrying about 150 tons of oil. 

Here is some video of the MV Benita aground: