An oil leak was reported from Panama-flagged cargo vessel MV Rak Carrier, which sank off the Mumbai coast earlier this week due to ingress of water into the cargo hull, officials said.
Oil leaks from M V Rak vessel sunk at Mumbai coast
“Since last night, oil has been observed leaking from the sunken vessel at an approximate rate of 1.5 to 2 tons per hour. The oil has spread to about 7 nautical miles around the vessel,” a press release issued by the defence ministry said on Sunday.
The vessel, which was on its way from Indonesia’s Tutung harbour to Dahej in Gujarat with 60,000 tons of coal, had a 30-member crew of Indonesians, Jordanians and Romanians. All crew members were rescued by Indian Navy and Coast Guard personnel before the ship sank on August 4.
Costal authorities have been asked to keep a contingency plan ready in case the oil spreads further. The defence ministry has asked the Maharashtra government to direct fishermen to refrain from fishing near the area affected by the oil spill.
The 225 metre-long vessel reportedly contained 290 tons of fuel oil and 50 tons of diesel, the director general (shipping) said.
Immediately after the leak was detected on Saturday, the Coast Guard was pressed into action.
A top official of the directorate general of shipping said the vessel had a valid insurance cover against pollution damages. An assessment of the situation, including removal of oil from the ship, was being done by a salvage company, he said.
Meanwhile, the Jordanian captain, Arkan Abdul Younis, 36 and the Romanian chief engineer, Ioneseu Ion, of vessel MV RAK Carrier were booked and arrested for negligence and endangering public safety by the Yellow Gate police station, around 40 hours after their vessel sunk 20 miles off the Mumbai harbour.
On August 4, the 30 crew members — mostly Indonesians (21) Jordanians (6) and two Romanians and one Palestinian — were brought to the Yellow Gate police station after they were rescued from the sinking coal carrier.