The 300 meters long Panama-flagged MV Wakashio ran aground off Pointe d’Esny, on the south-east coast of the island in Mauritius, on July 25th while en route from China to Brazil via Singapore on ballast condition.
Police said that crew members questioned as part of their investigation informed them there had been a birthday party on the ship the day it ran aground.
Reportedly, the crew members told investigators that the Wakashio was intentionally steered closer to the shores of Mauritiusin order to pick up the WiFi signal.
Incident of Japan based Nagashiki Shippings’ 203K dwt vessel ‘Wakashio’, is still undergoing investigation.
On Sunday, the grounded bulk carrier split just forward side of accommodation due to the maximum local shear stresses caused by the uneven load distribution due to grounding and amplified by the pounding waves.
Recently, the bow section of the Wakashio is being towed away to about eight nautical miles, to an area with 2 km water depth with its hatches open.
The stern block of the bulk carrier remains on a reef, with salvors waiting for the weather to settle down.
Following the incident of a bulk carrier 2 km east of Pointe d’Esny, at least 10 km2 of floating oil was potentially detected within the analyzed area of about 87 km2.
Satellite-detected potential floating oil at the surface of the Grand Port Bay, Republic of Mauritius was observed from TerraSAR-X imagery acquired on 15 August 2020 by UNITAR.
According to an earlier statement from Kavi Ramano, Mauritius’ Minister of the Environment, “Vessel was carrying around 3,900 tonnes of low-sulfur bunker fuel, 207 tonnes of diesel and 90 tonnes of lube oil.”
The Government of Mauritius said on Thursday that, most of the oil from the vessel have been pumped out, but there was still 166 tonnes of fuel oil inside and authorities were working to remove it.
In addition to clean up of oil spill, a broad range of accusations are emerging as pressure increases on the shipowner, charterer and now on the government of Mauritius.
Ship’s Captain, Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar, a 58-year-old Indian man, was charged with endangering safe navigation, police said.
Nandeshwar appeared in the district court in the capital Port Louis to hear the charges.
According to some local sources, he will be held in a police cell until he returns to the court on 25 August.
Pointe d’Esny is a sanctuary for rare wildlife, which is UNESCO’s protected site.
The government issued a formal request for compensation from the shipowner, Nagashiki Shipping Co. Ltd, and its charterer, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL).
The Wakashio is insured by Japan P&I and according to insurance experts, it is expected to cost 100’s of millions of U$’s.