PortandTerminal.com, August 18, 2020
The MV Wakashio ran aground on a coral reef, Pointe d’Esny, on 25 July while carrying 4,000 tonnes of fuel oil, causing an ecological emergency.
LONDON – BBC is reporting that the Captain of the MV Wakashio has been arrested. Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar, a 58-year-old Indian man, has been charged with endangering safe navigation, police said.
Mr Nandeshwar made an appearance in the district court in the capital Port Louis to hear the charges. He will be held in a police cell until he returns to court on 25 August.
The Wakashio is a Japanese owned bulk carrier that spilled more than 1,000 tonnes of bunker fuel into the pristine waters off Mauritius after it struck the reef on the island’s southeast coast on July 25.
In a race against time, frantic efforts were made to contain the spill and pump off oil from the ship before more fuel leaked from the stricken vessel.
On Saturday, August 15 the ship split in two.
The bow section is currently being towed eight nautical miles from the outer limit of the reef depth where it will be sunk in deep water.
Images released by the Ministry of the Environment of Mauritius show that two tugs have managed to set up the tow lines and are pulling the bow section from the grounding site (see lead photo)
Due to the poor weather conditions, the stern section, which remains aground on the reef, is being left at the site. It will remain there until an estimated 90 tonnes of oil still on board can be pumped out once the weather clears.
Police said crew members questioned as part of their investigation informed them there had been a birthday party on the ship the day it ran aground.
Another theory being investigated is that the ship navigated close to the shore in order to pick up WiFi signal, the BBC’s Yasine Mohabuth, in Port Louis, reports.
It has also been discovered that two of the crew members on the ship had been on board for more than a year bringing to question the mental and physical state of the crew.
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