Oil on vessel being pumped to other tank

2013-08-11 19:01
(Photo: News24 user)

(Photo: News24 user)

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Johannesburg - Marine salvors are pumping oil from a leaking tank on the Kiani Satu to prevent more oil pollution, the SABC reported on Sunday.

The plan was to pump oil from a leaking tank lower down in the ship to a structurally sound one higher up, SA Maritime Safety Authority spokesperson Nigel Campbell told the broadcaster.

The rough seas made it too dangerous to do underwater welding.

The bulk carrier ran aground off Buffels Bay, Knysna, on Thursday when it developed mechanical problems in heavy seas. It is carrying 330 tons of heavy fuel oil and 15 000 tons of rice.

Salvage experts said about three tons of oil had so far leaked into the marine protected Goukamma Nature Reserve, but marine life was not yet under threat, according to the SABC.

The ship was inaccessible and heavy equipment had to be flown in by helicopter.

On board the ship everything had to be moved by hand due to a lack of electricity.

Campbell said a similar operation to remove another ship from the Durban coast took them 30 days.

Insurance

This time they were trying to refloat it before the next cold front arrived on Tuesday.

“We have responsible owners who have the best insurance in place.

"Evidence of this is that they have flown in experts from all over the world to give assistance," said Campbell.

"Financial commitments are being met and there is no doubt in my mind that there will be no costs to the state in this exercise.

"The ship owners through their insurers will pick up all of the costs."

The environmental affairs department said its oil spill response team was collaborating with the local municipality, SANParks, and CapeNature.

"Reports from the department’s oil spill aerial surveillance aircraft indicate that while light oil is visible on the beaches, most of the oil leaking from the bulk carrier is moving offshore," the department said in a statement.

Read more on:    knysna  |  maritime

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