Grounded boxship leaks fuel
Fuel from the tanks of the grounded boxship MSC Al Amine (built 1983) is threatening the coast of Tunisia. The 563-teu vessel grounded on Ain Oktor beach in the Korbous region on Tuesday night,witnesses said on Wednesday.
Specialised antipollution teams, troops, national guardsmen and about 200 local people were busy cleaning up fuel which had already leaked to shore, running out strings of buoys to prevent further pollution, AFP reported.
Officials said the crew were unharmed and safe, some on shore and others still on board the ship, which was stranded on a sandbank in heavy seas about 20 metres off the coast.
The Tunisian ministers of the interior, defence and the environment - Rafik Belhaj Kacem, Hedi Mhenni and Nadir Hamada - all went to the scene to assess the damage and the environmental protection measures for themselves.
An official from the ship’s owner reportedly said it capsized in the storm because of "an electrical and engine failure".
The vessel has P&I cover from Gard and is classed by Germanischer Lloyd. It has no port state control detentions in the last three years.
Daily maritime press clippings - 2/17/2005