Sunday 11 August 2013

Oil leaking from stranded ship on beach in Western Cape Province, South Africa.

Fuel oil is leaking from a cargo ship which ran aground near Knysna in Western Cape Province earlier this week. The 165 m bulk carrier Kiani Satu, believed to be carrying a cargo of rice, ran aground on Thursday morning in 5 m swells, having apparently developed engine problems shortly after leaving Cape Town on route for Gabon. The nineteen member crew, believed to be Philippine and Ukranian nationals, were evacuated safely by volunteer crews from the National Sea Rescue Institute, and the South African Maritime Safety Authority are hoping to refloat the ship and tow it back to Cape Town.

A crewmember being airlifted from the Kiani Satu on Thursday 8 August 2013. Bianca Rautenbach/National Sea Rescue Institute.

The ship was later found to be leaking fuel oil from a crack in its starboard tank, concerning since it is currently close to the Goukamma Nature Reserve, a popular tourist spot on South Africa's economically important Garden Route. The Maritime Safety Authority have used bulldozers to erect sand barriers to prevent the oil from entering the Goukamma and Swartvlei Estuary, and teams of volunteers are on standby to clean any oil washed onto the beach, though at the moment most of the leaking oil is washing out to sea. It is still hoped that the situation can be contained and the ship brought to Cape Town for repairs.

The approximate location of the stricken Kiani Satu. Google Maps.

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