Ship Master Asked To Clean Up After Oil Spill Near Chennai


The Coast Guard Monday said it has issued notice to the master of a cargo ship to clean up the oil spill off the coast here caused by a rupture in a hose of the vessel, failing which action will be taken as per law.

Spillage of Fuel Furnace Oil occured early Sunday when ‘MT Coral Stars,’ an oil tanker vessel was offloading it through a ‘flexible hose’ in Kamarajar port, at Ennore near here.

The notice, issued Sunday, tasked the ship master and the vessel’s charterer -Atlantic Shipping Pvt Ltd- to clean up the spilled oil, undertake containment measures and recover the leaked oil that threatened the coastal area.

“Take all other necessary action to keep the environment clean as it was prevailing before the incident….take action to prevent further spillage of oil into the sea,” the notice said.

Also, the Coast Guard asked the charterer and the ship master to take action to remove oil from the damaged tanks by transfer. Non-compliance of the instructions will entail Coast Guard to take action, the notice made available to the media by the Defence Public Relations office here said.

The Coast Guard said it was empowered under the provisions of the Indian Merchant Shipping Act 1958 to issue notice and take action for non-compliance.

It said initial assessment revealed that the port had taken a few measures to contain the oil spill. However, the “ship and her agents have not yet taken suitable measures to remove the spill of approximately one tonne of fuel furnace oil.”

The oil spill ocuured when hose from the berth side got ruptured and Coast Guard had deployed two of its vessels to assess the damage.

Preliminary estimates of the port had pegged the spillage as less than two tonne, and the authorities had said that the recovery of the spilled oil was on with the use of skimmers and absorbent pads.

This is the second oil spill off Chennai since last year.

An oil spill had occurred on January 28, 2017 when two cargo ships collided in the Bay of Bengal near the Ennore Port.

Nearly 5,700 people representing various agencies took part in the clean up operation for nearly a month.

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