Beached Chinese fuel ship towed off the coast of Mauritius
A Chinese-flagged fishing vessel that ran aground on the reefs off Mauritius on Sunday has been towed safely to port.
Fisheries Minister Sudheer Maudhoo said 300 floating containment lines have been deployed to prevent any oil spill from the Lu Rong Yuan, which carries 130 tons of fuel.
Authorities said efforts to remove fuel oil and lubricants from the crashed vessel were underway.
The crew were arrested for questioning.
The stranded ship dumped a small amount of fuel into the ocean, but its hull remains intact, according to the local newspaper, L’Express.
Police helicopters are helping remove diesel fuel and oil lubricant because the ship is stranded in shallow water inaccessible to tugs, the newspaper reported. It should take up to five days to empty the ship and remove it from the reef, he said.
The 150-foot trawler Lu Rong Yuan Yu ran aground on Sunday as it entered the port of Pointe-aux-Sables, the newspaper reported. The Ministry of Fisheries has launched a preliminary investigation into how the accident happened.
The swift efforts to remove all fuel from the Chinese ship come after island officials took nearly two weeks to respond in July last year when a bulk carrier ran aground on the southeast coast from Mauritius.
Beaten by the waves, the hull of this ship, the Japanese Wakashio, broke in two, causing a spill of around 1,000 tonnes of fuel. This oil spill caused significant damage to the island’s pristine ecological reserve.