Cargo ship collision leads to oil leakage
A Singapore-registered, container vessel Wan Hai 301 and a Gibraltar-registered, container vessel APL Denver collided last night off Pasir Gudang Port in Johor, Malaysia.
The collision occurred when cargo vessel crashed into a stationary ship.
The Captain of the APL Denver reported that one of the ship’s bunker tanks sustained damage resulting in approximately 300 tons of oil spillage. The Johor Port Authority has deployed four anti-pollution craft on site and an oil boom around the APL ship to contain the oil spill. A power outage reportedly caused a Singapore-registered cargo vessel, which was coming into dock, to crash into a stationary container ship.
Slick moving towards Singapore:
The oil patches were spotted moving towards the coast of Singapore carried by the current after the collision at about 11pm on Tuesday. Currently, the spillage has been contained off the western side of Pulau Ubin. The local port authority has activated a total of eight anti-pollution craft with dispersant spraying capabilities to clean up the spilled oil.
Fortunately, no one was injured during the accident.
Clean-up activity initiated:
Port authorities were tight-lipped over the incident and declined to provide details on clean-up efforts.
A boat ferrying journalists to the affected area was detained by the authorities.
Johor Health and Environment committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat said, “The captain of Wan Hai 301 had reported a power outage and blackout on board just before the incident. The impact caused a bunker tank on the Gibraltar-registered APL Denver to rupture and spill its contents”.
Ayub said teams from the Department of Environment and Johor Port immediately started clean-up work and were trying to contain the oil slick, adding that an investigation into the collision had started.
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (southern region) First Admiral Adon Shalan said the APL Denver bunker tank has a capacity of 300 tons, “but we are not sure how much has spilled out”.
“A lot has floated to the waters near Pulau Ubin, off Singapore.”
Johor South Fishermen’s Association chairman Azli Mohd Aziz said he was worried about the livelihood of the fishermen at the six villages.
“They are hesitant to go out to sea now because the oil can damage our nets and other gear.”
“We are afraid that a change in the tides will shift the oil slick back into our waters,” he said.
More than 370 fishermen in the area are worried that the spill will affect their livelihood.
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Reference: MPA, Thestar