Oil leaking from Knysna cargo ship

2013-08-10 17:01

Johannesburg - Oil is leaking from a cargo ship, which ran aground off the Knysna coast near a nature reserve earlier this week, the SABC reported on Saturday.

SA Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) spokesperson Nigel Campbell told the public broadcaster that the authority was concerned about the leaks.

"One of them is a small leak in the engine's a water pipe that we made fast on Saturday morning.

"We believe that there is a crack in the hull in the way of number two double bottom starboard tank which is holding the fuel," said Campbell.

He said the oil leaked into the sea but Samsa was working on containing the situation.

"We have been pro-active in closing the river mouth at the Goukamma and Swartvlei [and] that is on-going now. They are using bulldozers and sand.

"Fortunately, there is a strong outflow from the river that is assisting us,” he said.

Samsa was preparing to tow the vessel to Cape Town.

The ship, carrying tons of rice, heavy fuel and gas oil, ran aground on Thursday.

Campbell said on Saturday that an aircraft would be deployed over the site to monitor the pollution.

"We are deploying teams to the beach to pick up any oil that would land on the beach," he told the SABC.

  • Duncan Sime - 2013-08-10 17:34


  • Hussein - 2013-08-10 17:56

    arrest the owners. Don't allow the to rape our environment!!!!

  • Ann Rimbault Southey - 2013-08-10 18:44

    Flew over the area this afternoon - oil leaking out of tanker clearly visible as well as another slick in the ocean about 1km futher away towards Sedgefield

      Armstrong Dreadnaught - 2013-08-11 12:17

      @ Ann - It is not a tanker, it is a bulk carrier carrying a cargo of rice. The oil leaking is fuel, not cargo. I should imagine that they have up to 1500 tons of fuel on board, with maybe 50 tons of gas oil (diesel). SAMSA should be concentrating on getting the oil off asap and not to worry about river mouths where the water is flowing out anyway. The oil can be pumped into trucks ashore. What puzzles me is how did it drift ashore? It was sailing from Hong Kong to Ghana so it was probably 15-25 miles offshore. After it's engine failed there was plenty of time to anchor, if it dragged with one anchor down they could have dropped the second one. The wind usually blows along the coast there and not directly onshore.

  • Des Cider - 2013-08-10 19:25

    This is very unfortunate indeed! Look out for unexpected and large increases in your insurance premiums in the next few months, unless, of course, you insure through ABSA, where you should expect anything, anytime!

  • Henry Charles Smith - 2013-08-10 19:37

    Mycoremediation - the use of fungi to combat contaminants in the environment, in this case its oil in the ocean, all we need is to bond the oil (with hair/straw) then place oyster mushroom spores on the oil "mats" then let the mushrooms consume the oil. Its cheap, effective and environmental friendly.

  • Jammies Jamneck - 2013-08-10 20:59

    Up goes the petrol price...

  • rivalani.mabasa - 2013-08-10 21:07

    The navigation team has to come to the fore and account to the public, and whoever responsible must be charged with negligence and causing detriment to the ecosystem.

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