Oil leaks from Knysna cargo ship

Container ship aground Oil leaks from Knysna cargo ship

Oil is leaking from a cargo ship, which ran aground off the Knysna coast near a nature reserve earlier this week.

SA Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) spokesman Nigel Campbell told the SABC today the authority was concerned about the leaks.

“One of them is a small leak in the engine room. It is a water pipe that we made fast on Saturday morning.

“We believe that there is a crack in the hull in the way of number two double bottom starboard tank which is holding the fuel,” said Campbell.

He said the oil leaked into the sea, but Samsa was working on containing the situation.

“We have been proactive in closing the river mouth at the Goukamma and Swartvlei [and] that is on-going now. They are using bulldozers and sand.

“Fortunately, there is a strong outflow from the river that is assisting us,” he said.

Samsa was preparing to tow the vessel to Cape Town.

The ship, carrying tons of rice, heavy fuel and gas oil, ran aground on Thursday.

Campbell said today an aircraft would be deployed over the site to monitor the pollution.

“We are deploying teams to the beach to pick up any oil that would land on the beach,” he told the SABC.

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