40,000-Ton Cargo Ship Snaps In Half Leaving Three-Mile Long Oil Spill
A Panamanian ship has snapped in half, spilling a significant amount of oil into the ocean.
The Crimson Polaris, a 39,910-ton cargo ship, split it in half off the coast of Japan and was nearing the end of its voyage after carrying wood chips from Thailand.
The ship ran aground at 7.30am on August 11, around 2.4 miles from the Japanese port of Hachinohe. This led to a 3-mile oil slick being left behind the wreckage.
CNN reported that the 21 crew members, who were from China and the Philippines, were saved by helicopters deployed by emergency services. Speaking about the incident, Crimson Polaris’s operator told news outlet Kyodo News that strong winds blew the vessel, that was built in 2008, into shallow water where it could no longer float.
In a press statement, the charter company for the vessel, Nippon Yusen Kaisha, wrote:
A portion of the ship’s wood-chip cargo was lost from the damaged part of the hull. Nippon Yusen is currently confirming the amount of cargo and the impact on the sea area at the site.
Company personnel have been sent to the site, and necessary support will be provided to the shipowner and ship-management company.
The two parts of the vessel have yet to be moved, and it is unclear how the ocean life below has been impacted. However, Reuters reported that a Coast Guard spokesman stated that patrol boats are monitoring the developing situation.
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