The ship then broke up and Nightingale Island is now facing an environmental disaster This special page will carry regular updates on this emergency.
At 0700 this morning Tristan received news from the Ovenstones fishing vessel MV Edinburgh that the MS Oliva had run aground on Nightingale Island. All on board are OK but the ship is well and truly stuck at Spinners Point, a rocky promontory on Nightingale’s rugged northern coast.
The vessel is a 75,300 tonne bulk carrier (length 225 m, beam 32m) en route from Santos in Brazil to Singapore carrying soya beans. The ship was commissioned in 2009, is registered in Malta, has a call sign 9HA2075 and IMO 9413705.
Concern for Crew
Sean Burns reports that Tristan’s main concern is the safety of the crew and it is understood that a voluntary evacuation of ten of the 22 crew on board to MV Edinburgh was taking place this afternoon with the agreement of the masters of both ships. The ship’s operators are based in Greece and there is 1 Greek and 21 Filipino crew on board. MV Edinburgh is standing by to assist until the salvage vessel gets here in four to five days time.
There is no evidence of any fuel or other pollution, but of course the Tristan community is very concerned about the impact this might have on the environment. The Tristan Government has ben in touch with environmental agencies and it is good news that the salvage team includes an environmental adviser. The Government is also concerned about any impact on the fishery but were relieved to hear that the ballast tanks, 4 of which are damaged, were in fact empty. The Tristan Conservation Department is preparing to send over a team to place bait stations in case any rats get ashore although ship’s owners have made an assurance that none are on board.