Following the arrests of the ship captain and chief officer of the MV Wakashio – the cargo ship responsible for the Mauritian oil spill, its owner, Nagashiki shipping has announced its apology publicly on Wednesday, 19th Aug 2020.
The company issued a statement overnight, confirming the arrests of two of the ship’s officers. The apology stated: “We sincerely apologise for causing a great deal of inconvenience to everyone involved, including everyone in Mauritius, due to this grounding accident and oil spill”. The company also said that it would support the crew and their families.
On July 25th, 2020, the MV Wakashio came too close to the shore of Mauritius and ran aground a reef. It remained stranded until the waves caused cracks in its body, leading to a 1000 tonne oil spill. The unfortunate disaster triggered an environment emergency by the Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth. He also sought help from the UN and other countries.
In the last week over 3000 tonnes of oil had been siphoned out of the vessel, until it finally split into two on Monday. Experts from Japan and France are now sent to cope and assist clean-up operations.
The Mauritian National Crisis Committee reported on Wednesday that, based on recommendations from various expert groups, it has now planned to scuttle the ship remains in the deeper part of the ocean on a yet-to-be-confirmed date. This will be done in a procedure that will not disturb maritime routes.
The decision has, however, drawn flak from Environmental group – Greenpeace Africa who are in the opinion that the sinking would cause more pollution due to toxins and risk biodiversity in the region, “notably the French island of La Réunion”.