Madagascar will during the weekend pump crude from a tankerthat ran aground a week ago off its picturesque northern coast to prevent a spill,maritime authorities said Thursday.The 120-metre (393-foot) Bahamian-flagged Tromso, laden with 10,000 cubic metresof crude oil, got stricken last week in the Indian Ocean after it bust one of its twohulls.A Seychelles vessel, the Seychelles Paradise which has a capacity of 1,400 cubic
metres will syphon the crude off the Tromso on Saturday to lessen the weight of thetanker, the government's anti-pollution chief Roland Rakotondrasata said.A Madagascar tug will then tow the tanker to its destination, the deepwater harbourof Antsiranana, formerly known as Diego Suarez, situated roughly 20 kilometres (15miles) away. By Tuesday the rescue operation should conclude.International experts flown in by the vessel's owners were checking for leaks andmapping the seabed around the tanker using specialised equipment in preparation
for the rescue operation.Specialist salvage and oil spill response company, Swire Salvage, located inSingapore, will take charge of the emergency operation."The operation will be carried out with caution...to ensure zero pollution," accordingto a statement from the environment ministry.Jerome Sambalis of Madagascar's ports authority said the ship ran aground becauseof human error.Easter holiday tourists who packed the resort town of Ramena last weekend,watched the cargo vessel flounder around two kilometres (1.2 miles) off the coast.The ship was built in 2008 and last docked in the United Arab Emirates, according todata from MarineTraffic.com.