CHENNAI: The Indian Coast Guard averted a major oil disaster after it swiftly swung into action following a heavy fuel leak from a merchant vessel anchored off the Orissa coast on Wednesday.
MV Malavika, owned by the Essar Shipping Private limited, was anchored off Gopalpur on Monday.
The ship’s tank number four leaked about 10 tonnes of heavy fuel into the sea following a rupture caused by the barge used for unloading coal from the ship. After a message from the owners of the ship, the Indian Coast Guard deployed a ship Sarang with a helicopter onboard to assist and investigate the cause of the leakage.
Arriving on Tuesday, investigation by the ICGS Sarang found that the oil was moving in the north eastern direction, towards Rushikulya river.
Immediately, the Gopalpur port was alerted regarding the movement of the oil. A notice was also issued to the owner of the ship for early action to recover oil from the sea and shore.
The ICG dornier from Kolkata was also deployed for assessment and pollution response.
The master of the merchant vessel stopped the leakage and transferred the balance oil to other three centre tanks.
The ICG ship Raziya Sultana was also sailed out for additional assistance on scene off Gopalpur.
The company Essar Shipping are working with Gopalpur port on shoreline clean up and in mitigating the damage.