RACE TO STEM OIL SPILL
SALVAGE crews raced against time yesterday to prevent a second disastrous oil spill off the coastline of Mauritius, with a damaged tanker carrying thousands of tonnes of fuel at risk of splitting apart.
The bulk carrier MV Wakashio ran aground on July 25 with 4000 tonnes of fuel aboard and began seeping oil last week, staining coral reefs, mangrove forests and lagoons in an unprecedented environmental catastrophe for the archipelago nation. More than 1000 tonnes had already oozed from the ship, its Japanese operator said.
Efforts to pump more fuel from the hold were being thwarted by rough seas.
Japan yesterday dispatched a six-member team, including members of its coast guard, to assist. A spokesman at Mitsui OSK Lines, which operates the Wakashio, said it would send experts as soon as today.