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Urgent pumping removes oil from ship grounded near Mauritius

www.nzherald.co.nz
3 min read
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The Japanese ship, MV Wakashio, ran aground on a coral reef on July 25
In a race against tides and time, workers pumped tons of fuel on Tuesday from a Japanese bulk carrier ship grounded in the shallow waters of Mauritius to try to prevent a renewed oil spill from further fouling the island's eastern lagoons and shore.

The Japanese ship, MV Wakashio, ran aground on a coral reef about a mile off Mauritius on July 25, and prolonged pounding by heavy surf caused the vessel to crack about two weeks later. It spilled an estimated 1,000 tons of oil — about a quarter of the ship's total cargo — into the Indian Ocean, polluting the island's once pristine coastline.

Although the oil leak was stopped, the ship's hull was continuing to crack, prompting fears that the remaining fuel would gush into the sea.

Oil leaking from the Japanese-registered MV Wakashio, a bulk carrier ship that ran aground off the southeast coast of Mauritius on July 25. Photo / Georges de La Tremoille / Mu Press

By Tuesday, about 1000 tons of the fuel had been pumped out of the stranded ship into small tankers nearby, according to a statement from the Wakashio's owner, Nagashiki Shipping. About 1800 tons of fuel…
Andrew Meldrum, Associated Press
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