Some highlights from Minister Ramano’s opening statement are below.
- The Wakashio was underway from China to Brazil when it ran aground around 7:30 p.m. local time on Saturday, July 25.
- The ship is not carrying any cargo, although it is reported to be carrying 3,894 tonnes of low-sulphur fuel oil, 207 tonnes of diesel and 90 tonnes of lube oil, according to the Minister Ramano.
- Reports indicate the ship’s hull is undamaged. The engine room has flooded due to a ruptured hose.
- All crew members remain on board.
- No oil spill has been reported, although traces of hydrocarbons have been reported in algae over a stretch of about 300 meters. These traces are believed to have originated from the engine room and no additional leakage has been observed, the minister said.
- Boom has been placed near the entrance to the Blue Bay Marine Park, a protected area in south-east part of the island just south of the grounding site.
- Smit Salvage has been contracted to respond along with local contractor CELERO. A tug has been dispatched from South Africa, while a second tug with oil spill response equipment is underway from Singapore with an ETA on Wednesday, July 29.
A transcript of Minister Kavi Ramano’s speech can be found here.
The Wakashio is a 203,130 deadweight tonnes bulk carrier measuring 300 meters in length. It is registered in Panama.
The Wakashio was built in 2007 by Universal Shipbuilding in Kawasaki, Japan. It is managed by Okiyo Maritime / Nagashiki Shipping of Japan.