Damaged tanker spills oil into Singapore Strait after running agroundgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
Damaged tanker spills oil into Singapore Strait after running aground
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - An oil tanker ran aground in the Singapore Strait early today, spilling at least 7,000 tonnes of crude oil, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said.
The ship's master reported that four cargo tanks, holding an estimated 40,400 tonnes of crude oil, had been damaged, the MPA said in a statement.
It said the Panama-registered Natuna Sea had run aground in Indonesian waters off Batu Berhanti Beacon, roughly eight kilometres south of Singapore.
No injuries to the 32 crew members have been reported and the vessel was not obstructing traffic, it said.
An MPA spokesman said salvage operator Smit International had put a 300-metre oil boom around the vessel to keep the leak from spreading.
He said an oil slick 1.6 kilometres long by 800 metres wide had escaped the boom and was last seen heading in a southwesterly direction toward southern Sumatra in Indonesia.
The MPA has activated its oil spill contingency plan and has seven vessels within Singapore waters monitoring the situation. They could be mobilized if the slick enters Singapore waters.
''There has been no sighting of any oil spill heading into Singapore,'' the spokesman said.
Regional maritime and government authorities have been notified to take precautionary measures, the MPA said. Shipping sources said Natuna Sea was chartered by China Oil to sail from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to Jinzhou in China.
According to Lloyds Casualty Reporting Service, the vessel is operated by a Monaco-based organization. The vessel is owned by the Dolphin Bay Navigation Ltd.
The last major oil spill in the Singapore Strait, in October 1997, took three weeks to clean up.
It occurred when the Cyprus-flagged vessel Evoikos spilled 29,000 tonnes of fuel oil into the sea after a collision with the Thai tanker Global Orapin.
-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), October 03, 2000