An underwater inspection on Tuesday of a sunken oil tanker that foundered 500 metres off Al Hamriya Port on Sunday reveals no damage to the environment.
A 45-minute exploratory dive to the site lying 12 metres beneath the surface near a breakwater in the Gulf showed no signs of oil contamination. No oil could be seen on the surface over the site in a visit by Gulf News throughout the day yesterday.
The sunken vessel has been identified as Lady Moon, a 30-metre-long vessel registered outside of the UAE and flying under a Panamanian flag.
"There was some slight oil from the engine on the surface on Sunday and that was it," said a port authority official yesterday. "So far, there has been nothing else."
The clean bill of health comes after a source in the shipping industry told Gulf News yesterday that the vessel's holds were empty as it struggled in high winds to re-enter port but was overcome by rough seas.
"It was loaded [with diesel fuel] when it left for another port but it came back empty. There was nothing in the tanker to leak out."
Attempts by Gulf News to reach owners of the Lady Moon have not been successful. The Lady Moon is listed on various shipping registry websites as a small oil tanker of DWT242, built in 2006 and having the call sign of HP2859.
If the unidentified owner does not come forward, port officials said they are weighing re-floating the vessel themselves perhaps as early as next week.
Officials with the Ministry of Transportation visited the port yesterday to document the sinking.
A marine agent, meanwhile, is working on behalf of the Lady Moon's crew of five Indian nationals who escaped the sinking.
The agent is working to secure travel documents to help the crew return home as early as this weekend following a complete investigation of the incident.