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  Slick from tanker collision threatens Egyptian coast

    Monday 7 February 2005

Slick from tanker collision threatens Egyptian coast

GENERAL Maritime Management has said that its managed suezmax, Genmar Kestrel, which was in collision with the tanker Trijata on Friday evening is stable and no longer leaking oil. No injuries have been reported by the crew and the engineering plant remains fully functional. An earlier reported list has been corrected by the crew and the vessel is in no danger. But Genmar estimates that some 6,000 barrels of the ship’s cargo of arab light crude oil has been lost.
"Two ocean going tugs are standing by and clean up operations have commenced. No oil has reached shore and arrangements are being made for the aerial application of dispersant material," the company said in a statement. A stiff breeze is blowing the resulting oil slick, 1,000 tonnes from the Kestrel and 500 from Trijata towards Egypt’s Mediterranean coast near the city of Port Said, the state news agency MENA said on Sunday. Egyptian officials went out to inspect the slick, and a port official said the authorities would deal with the slick if it approached the harbour, adding that the northwesterly wind was blowing at 13 knots.
The the Marshall Islands-registered Genmar Kestrel and the Singapore-flagged Trijata, collided about 14 miles from Damietta, which lies to the west of Port Said. "According to this data, the slick will probably move towards the Mediterranean coast near Port Said," MENA quoted port official Rear Admiral Hisham el-Sarsawi as saying. The collision made a 3ft by 1ft) hole in the Genmar Kestrel below the waterline, causing the oil to spill, a shipping source said. The Egyptian authorities have demanded that the owners of the tankers give a written commitment to cover the cost of any damage to the environment, a government spokesman said. Genmar said that it had contracted Smit Salvage to act as salvors and their team is on site assessing the situation. Several vessels suitable to lighter the cargo on board the tanker have been located in the vicinity and arrangements are being made for a full lightering.