Tanker Carrying Vegatable Oil Aground Off Uruguay

Photo courtesy Uruguay Navy
Photo courtesy Uruguay Navy

A response is underway after a Marshall Islands-flagged tanker ran aground Tuesday off the coast of Uruguay near the resort city of Punta del Este. 

The ship, the MT Siteam Anja, is had just departed San Lorenzo, Argentina en route to Rio Grande Brazil with more than 32,000 cubic meters of vegetable oil when it ran aground near a small island just off the coast.

According to Uruguay’s Navy, the ship suffered a cooling problem and was headed to an anchorage south of Punta del Este for inspection. When the ship went to make a turn towards the anchorage, the vessel lost powered and drifted, eventually running aground on the island of Lobos.

At least two tugs and dive team were sent to assist the vessel and so far no pollution has been reported.

AIS data from MarineTraffic.com shows the ship at anchor at the grounding location, so at this point it is unclear if the ship has been refloated or not.

As of Wednesday afternoon, lightering operations were expected to commence in order to remove the ship from the area.