A supertanker has departed from China en route to the Yemeni coast to prevent a catastrophic oil spill from a decaying tanker that has sat there for years, reports Riviera Maritime Media.
Catastrophic Oil Spill Off Yemen
The very large crude carrier (VLCC) set sail from Zhoushan, China, on Thursday as part of a United Nations coordinated operation to remove more than one million barrels of oil from the decaying FSO Safer supertanker off Yemen’s Red Sea coast that threatens a humanitarian, environmental, and economic catastrophe, the United Nations said in a statement.
The rescue tanker, the Nautica, was secured last month by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and is expected to arrive at its final destination in early May.
The dangerous tanker, the Safer, has been moored off Yemen’s Ras Isa peninsula since 1988 and could explode or break up at any time, the UN said.
“We are in a race against time, and I urge leaders in government, CEOs of corporations and any individual in a position to contribute to step forward and support us in keeping this operation, which is fast reaching a critical stage, on track,” said Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator.
Funding has yet to be secured, according to the UN.
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Source: Riviera Maritime Media