A number of cargo tanks have been damaged and are flooded aboard the heavily grounded bulk carrier MV Benita which ran into trouble when it hit the coast of Le Bouchon, Mauritius, on June 17.
The Greek salvage company Five Oceans Salvage, together with the vessel’s owners and the Mauritian authorities, is working on removing the 145 tonnes of fuel oil on board the ship.
The oil is currently being pumped from the fuel tanks to containers on the vessel that will then be removed to shore by helicopter, Five Oceans said.
Despite the damaged and flooded tanks, the 1998-built bulker “appears to be stable and remains firmly aground,” according to the salvage company.
A tug Ionian Sea FOS is presently attending the MV Benita in order to provide stability to the stranded vessel and afford control as needed.
Anti-pollution booms have also been placed along the surrounding shoreline and the company said that “any oil that does reach the booms will be collected and removed by dedicated teams on site.”
An oil spill which was earlier spotted in the vicinity of the bulker had been put under control.
Initial oil pumping operations have been hampered by inclement weather conditions at the site.
A plan to re-float and remove the 44,183 dwt vessel from the shoreline is being developed in conjunction with the authorities, however, the efforts to free the bulker could take over a month to complete.
World Maritime News Staff