Smit Salvage appointed to refloat Wakashio

Smit Salvage has been appointed to refloat bulk carrier Wakashio (IMO 9337119).

The vessel ran aground in an environmentally sensitive area on a reef off Mauritius during the evening of Saturday July 25th. The vessel was en route from China to Brazil.

Booms are already in place to prevent any pollution from the more than 200,000 dwt vessel, should it occur. The vessel is about 900 metres from the shoreline in the southeast of Mauritius.

On July 27th the Mauritius Coast Guard spotted traces of oil in the lagoon. The Indian captain of the vessel confirmed that a small water ingress was detected by his mechanics, and water has entered into the engine room.

It was seen as urgent to remove the ship from the reef before the arrival of a new cold front with high swell, which was expected at the weekend in Réunion and, therefore, early next week on the south-eastern coast of the sister island.

The authorities have installed 280 metres of additional oil booms in the lagoon at Blue-Bay in order to protect the Blue-Bay Marine Park.

The Police Helicopter Squadron has carried out four flights to assess the situation at Pointe d’Esny, but no leaks had been detected thus far.

2007-built, Panama-flagged, 101,932 gt Wakashio is owned by Okiyo Maritime Corp care of manager Nagashiki Shipping Co Ltd of Kasaoka-shi, Okayama-ken, Japan. It is entered with Japan Club (Kobe Office in charge) on behalf of Okiyo Maritime Corp.