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25 July 2000 – Hamburg, Germany
Inland waterways m tanker Lubbecke (1,258 dwt, built 1971) spilled some 250 tonnes of heating oil into one of Hamburg's inner port basins and subsequently sank, polluting an area of 80,000 sq.m. The situation was quickly brought under control, a spokeswoman at Hamburg's environmental ministry said. "A catastrophe was prevented through good weather at the time of the accident and rapid work of the rescue teams," she said. The financial damage totalled several million marks, she added. The spokeswoman said the accident happened because the high tide had pushed a wooden beam attached to the berth into the tanker, leaving a hole in the vessel measuring 3 by 0.5 metres. The Minden-registered tanker was loaded with a total of 1,400 tonnes of heating oil. She has already been salved while clean-up work is still going on, the spokeswoman said. The flow of the oil into other port areas was prevented by closing off the inner port basin where the tanker was docked, she explained.
23 July 2000 – Bay of Biscay, France
Pumping began today to remove an estimated 6,000 tonnes of fuel from the stern of m tanker Erika, officials said. The same volume of fuel was pumped from the front half of the vessel in operations that ended on July 16. The two halves of the vessel are on the ocean bed 10km apart. Four vessels hired by the French-Belgian oil company, TotalFinaElf, which chartered the Erika, started the pumping operation on July 3.
27 July 2000 – French maritime experts said today that oil was seeping from the sunken wreck of m tanker Erika. The local maritime agency in Brest reported a persistent leakage from the stern section of the vessel but said that the oil tended to evaporate shortly after hitting the surface 120 metres above. "The area will be pumped as a priority to mop up this leak," said the agency, which stressed that the thickness of the oil was microscopic. The vessels hired by TotalFinaElf have extracted roughly 6,000 tonnes of oil from the bow section and close to 4,000 tonnes from the leaking stern.
31 July 2000 – Clean-up vessels have completed pumping oil from the sunken wreck of m tanker Erika, ending threats of fresh pollution to France's Atlantic coast, TotalFinaElf said today. The oil giant, which had chartered the Erika and was in charge of the pumping, said 10,080 tonnes of the heavy fuel oil had been recovered. "Any threat of major pollution is now ruled out," it said. The pumping operation, which began on July 3, had been expected to last into September. The vessels hired by TotalFinaElf extracted 4,610 tonnes of oil from the leaking stern section and 5,470 tonnes from the front section.
27 July 2000 – Most of the oil has now been removed from the sunken tanker Erika off the west coast of France. The main operation to pump oil from the two halves of the tanker has now been concluded, according to the oil company TotalFinaElf and the French maritime authority in Brest. Both the maritime authority and the French oil company say that the risk of further major pollution from the Erika is now very slight. However, the French transport ministry has said that "the complete cleanup of the Erika will take several more weeks". Nine months after the accident, a total of 10,080 tonnes of heavy fuel oil has been recovered from the front and rear sections of the hull at the expense of TotalFinaElf. A spokesperson for the company said that the first phase of the pumping operation, which removed 95-98 per cent of the oil, was concluded last Sunday (July 30), three weeks ahead of schedule. "This has put any risk of a major oil pollution aside," he said. The second phase is scheduled to finish at the end of September and involves pumping the 2-5 per cent of oil left in the wreck after using a biodegradable solvent to make the oil easy to pump, the spokesperson explained.
31 August 2000 – Clean-up vessels have completed pumping the last of the oil from the front section of the sunken m tanker Erika off France's Atlantic coast, TotalFinaElf said yesterday. The energy giant said the operation would now shift to removing the remaining oil from the rear section of the vessel. The two sections of the vessel lie about six miles apart and some 44 miles offshore. TotalFinaElf pumped the bulk of the oil from the main tanks in the two sections of the wreck in an initial pumping phase that began on July 3. The firm said in a statement it hoped to finish extracting the last of the trapped oil from the stern next month. The oil giant said a total of 11,220 tonnes of the heavy fuel oil had been recovered from the vessel since the operation began.
6 September 2000 – French transport minister, Jean-Claude Gayssot, yesterday announced the end of the operation to recover oil trapped in the two sunken sections of m tanker Erika. A total 10,080 tonnes of heavy fuel oil were recovered from the tanks of the Erika during the main pumping operation and a further 1,155 tonnes in the course of the secondary operation, which has been in progress most recently, to recover fuel residues in other parts of the vessel's two hull sections. Today, all risk of pollution linked to the wrecks of the Erika has been removed, said Mr Gayssot.
22 September 2000 – Vessels sent to pump out oil trapped in the holds of the wrecked m tanker Erika have completed their task, French oil giant TotalFinaElf said today. The French government announced earlier this week that it had decided to leave the broken wreck where it was, some 70km off the coastline, saying that to try to move it further out to sea or raise it was too risky. TotalFinaElf, which had chartered the Erika and paid for the bulk of the pumping operation, said in a statement that valves attached to the hold to help get the viscous fuel oil out to the surface had all been sealed. "The last ship chartered by TotalFinaElf and still present at the site of the Erika wreck … has just finished its mission," it said. More than 11,000 tons of heavy fuel oil has been extracted from the Erika over the past three months.
26 September 2000 – The French government has officially decided to let the two sunken sections of m tanker Erika lie on the seabed. They have now been emptied of the heavy fuel oil the vessel was carrying when she broke up and sank last December. Transport minister Jean-Claude Gayssot indicated that the government had considered a number of other possibilities for dealing with the wreck, including re-floating, dismantling and covering, but said these had been ruled out as presenting serious risks for the people involved and the environment. He said local fishermen, who had been consulted by the government, supported the decision to leave the wreck where it is, considering that the depth of the wreck and the fact that its position was well-known meant that it presented no danger for their activities. Mr Gayssot said, however, that the wreck would be kept under close surveillance. The marine prefecture in Brest, notably, will be required to supply a monthly report, based on information supplied by aircraft and ships passing over the site. An underwater inspection of the wreck will also be carried out in six months to verify the state of its structure. Regular checks are to be made on seafood and fish caught in the area around the wreck and off that part of the coast polluted. The fore and aft sections of Erika are currently lying some 10 kilometres apart in 120 metres of water, some 70 kilometres off the southern Brittany coast. Mr Gayssot's decision was in line with the recommendations of the committee of experts and pilot committee set up to advise the government on dealing with the aftermath of the disaster. Coflexip Stena Offshore subsidiary, CSO International, which led the consortium formed by itself and Stolt Offshore to recover oil from the wreck, said that offshore safety vessel, CSO Constructor, the last vessel still at work on the wreck site, had completed its work and was returning to Brest before resuming its activities in the North Sea. The last task carried out by the vessel and its divers was to gather information about the wreck for the purposes of the judicial investigation into the causes of the accident being carried out by a court in Dunkirk. Erika's charterer, TotalFinaElf, asked the court to seek expert advice on the cause of her sinking shortly after it occurred last December. The divers concentrated their efforts on parts of the wreck considered critical to understanding of the reasons for the break-up of the vessel. According to a TotalFinaElf source, their work involved measuring hull thickness, taking close-up photographs of the wreck and subjecting welds to ultrasonic testing. He added that the results would be available to a number of parties which had expressed the wish to have access to them. These included the French government marine accident unit, Erika's owner, the classification society, Rina, and local authorities involved in litigation with TotalFinaElf.
3 October 2000 – A Malta Maritime Authority investigating team has concluded that "in all probability, corrosion played a significant part" in the loss of m tanker Erika last December. In its report, tabled in parliament yesterday by Transport and Communications Minister, Censu Galea, the team said the loss was the result of several factors acting concurrently or occurring simultaneously. The most likely contributing factors, though not the only ones, were corrosion, cracking and local failure, vulnerabilities in the design of the vessel, the sea conditions and the quality of repairs carried out at Bijela in 1998. "Neither the flag state, the fact that Erika was registered in Malta contributed to the loss of the vessel," the team said. The vessel broke into two on the morning of December 12, 1999, in the Bay of Biscay, about 45 nautical miles off the French coast, causing extensive marine pollution but no loss of human life. The investigating team was made up of personnel from the Merchant Shipping Directorate of the Malta Maritime Authority, a highly experienced independent ship surveyor, and The Salvage Association. The IMO Code for the Investigation of Marine Casualties and Incidents was used as a guideline. While the vessel's crew and managers, and RINA – her classification society – co-operated fully in the investigation, the investigating team reported that some classification societies, the International Association of Classification Societies and other parties, including hull underwriters, some oil majors and the French authorities, did not make available all the relevant information. The investigating team specified that the report did not seek to apportion blame, or determine civil or criminal liability and its findings were not binding on any party.
Its aims were precautionary and sought to avoid a repeat occurrence through a full understanding of the events. The report pointed out that RINA last surveyed the vessel in November, 1999, when it was reported that the hard coating of the ballast tanks was in poor condition and that there was general corrosion in the forepeak and thinning of the deck longitudinals in No. 2 port and starboard segregated ballast tanks. No. 4 port and starboard SBTs and the aft-peak were found to be in satisfactory condition. The surveyor recommended further inspections and thickness measurements, followed by the necessary repairs, for not later than January, 2000, and the class certificate was endorsed accordingly. All of the vessel's class and statutory certificates were valid at the time of her sinking. The vessel underwent substantial repairs at the Bijela Shipyard in Montenegro in the summer of 1998 under the supervision of RINA. The crew complement was in excess of that required in terms of the minimum safe manning certificate and all officers were in possession of valid certificates of competence. The vessel was first noticed to be listing in the early afternoon of December 11 but had been shipping seas continuously before that. The investigating team concluded that the master failed to appreciate the severity of the situation and that the side shell was breached. He also failed to immediately alert the coastal authorities. The initial and main source of ingress of sea water was most likely by way of No. 2 starboard SBT side shell, above the mean waterline. Ingress would have occurred as the vessel rolled into the sea. As the vessel's list increased, so too did the rate of ingress. The second list, at midnight, was probably caused by progression of the damage from above the waterline down the side, to below the waterline, causing the rapid flooding of No. 2 starboard SBT. When the vessel sank, about 8,000 tonnes of fuel from No. 3 centre cargo tank and No. 3 starboard cargo tank were immediately released into the sea. A further unquantifiable amount would have leaked out through cracks and unsealed openings. Repairs carried out at Bijela in 1998 were minimal in nature and in all probability insufficient, the investigating team noted. The quality of the Bijela repairs could have contributed to the initial local failure, leading to the final collapse. RINA should investigate the performance of the surveyors who attended the repairs at Bijela and previous repairs at Augusta, as well as their respective regional managers and the responsible person in head office, who approved the Bijela surveyor's report. Particularly, RINA should investigate the performance of the International Safety Management auditor who carried out Panship's annual audit in April, 1999, and who is the same surveyor who was at Bijela. The performance of the ISM auditor who attended the company's verification audit in November, 1999, should also be investigated, the report said. Among 20 recommendations made by the investigating team, it encouraged classification societies to re-inspect, on the remaining Erika sister vessels and other tankers of a similar type, the weld connections of the longitudinals to the deck and side shell plating, particularly in all the ballast tanks. The International Maritime Organisation should consider amending resolution A. 744(18) to include the requirement that the thickness of the remaining fillet welds for the deck longitudinals be always included in the thickness measurement reports.
15 August 2000 – Ekorinim, Nigeria
Newspapers reported today that 18 people have been killed in another oil-products pipeline fire in southern Nigeria where hundreds have died in similar disasters in recent months. Navy officials in the south-eastern port city of Calabar confirmed the accident last Saturday (August 12) in the nearby village of Ekorinim but had no information on casualties or other details. As in similar disasters in Nigeria's oil-producing areas, those killed were villagers scavenging for gasoline spilling from a ruptured pipeline, according to the newspapers. However, the pipeline at Ekorinim had burst as a result of corrosion and had not been deliberately punctured by fuel thieves blamed for similar acts in the oil-rich Niger Delta, the reports said. The cause of the fire was not known.
16 August 2000 – Kaohsiung area, Taiwan
Three chemical company executives and 19 workers were charged yesterday with dumping tons of toxic waste into a river that serves as a main source of drinking water in southern Taiwan. Prosecutors said the executives could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted of attempted homicide in the incident, which caused an uproar last month in Kaohsiung. Local authorities shut down the water supply for four days, after three men were caught pouring the cancer-causing solvent dimethyl benzene into a tributary of the Kaoping River from a tanker carrying more than 100 tons of the waste. The executives charged were Yang Wen-hsiung, chairman of the Eternal Chemical Co., Hong Shen-ching, president of the Shengli Chemical Company and Hong Yu-sheng, Shengli's vice president. Shengli handled waste for Eternal. The other 19 people charged – all employees of either company – face maximum sentences ranging from three years to life in prison, prosecutors said. The government fined Eternal $8.4 million and Shengli $5.2 million. Prosecutors said Shengli had dumped 13,500 tons of the waste solvent into the river since 1987. This year alone, more than 400 tons had been dumped into Kaohsiung's rivers, prosecutors said.
18 August 2000 – Grenville area, Texas, USA
Dallas switched on its pumps at Lake Tawakoni yesterday, more than five months after a pipeline leak spilled gasoline into a nearby creek, jeopardising 25 per cent of the Dallas water supply. The city manager's office notified the City Council about noon that the pumps were turned on at the lake after tests convinced staff members that the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether also known as MTBE was barely detectable and no longer a risk. Smaller water companies had reactivated their pumps in April after state environmental officials and the Sabine River Authority assured concerned East Texas and Dallas-area residents that water from Lake Tawakoni was safe and drinkable. MTBE levels in Lake Tawakoni were high at first up to 1,500 parts per billion. The chemical evaporated within weeks of the spill. As of August 14, levels were down to 10 to 14 parts per billion near the spill site in the creek, Dallas Water Utilities officials said. The state has an odour and taste standard of 15 parts per billion. The pipeline's owner, Explorer Pipeline Co. of Tulsa, Oklahoma, has received bills from the city totalling $8.3 million for the clean-up. The amount includes $7.4 million for a second water pipeline the city said it was forced to build from Lake Ray Hubbard to another treatment station because of the spill. The city had planned to build the pipeline before the spill. Explorer has said the company should not be forced to pay for it.
17 August 2000 – Tanjung Po, Sarawak
A major clean-up is underway following an oil spill from sunken m bulk carrier Double Brave (ex Hwan Shun, 5,078 gt built 1982) at Tanjung Po anchorage point at the Sarawak River mouth. The Marine Department rescued the 21 crew members before the vessel sank after it was informed of the collision at about 05.50 Saturday (August 12). Double Brave was loaded with about 116 tonnes of diesel oil when she sank after a collision with a barge being towed by a tug. She was also carrying textiles bound for Sarawak when the incident happened. About 60 workers from the Marine Department, Department of Environment, and the Kuching Port Authority had been helping in the clean-up operation since Monday.
State Marine Department director, Muhammad Razif Ahmad, said it was not immediately known how much diesel had leaked into the sea. "There is a thin layer of spillage. We have contained the leaks and (the situation) is under control," he said yesterday. Muhammad Razif said the oil spill had posed a threat to marine life. He said the Hong Kong-based owner of the sunken vessel had been instructed to stop the oil leakage and re-float the vessel, "We asked them to act quickly." He hoped the clean-up would be completed as soon as possible.
3 October 2000 – Northern China
Officials in northern China are battling to stave off an ecological disaster after a chemical truck plunged into a river spilling 5.2 tonnes of sodium cyanide into the water. The authorities have been forced to build a dam to contain the pollution in the Wuguan River and issue a ban on drinking water, according to the official Xinhua news agency. The truck veered into the river in Danfeng County, Shaanxi province, before dawn on Friday (September 29), but the accident was only reported in the state media today. Health officials have administered first aid to residents near Wuguan River and stopped them drinking the water, Xinhua said. Drugs have also been released into the poisoned river to decompose and neutralise the chemicals. An official said there had been no reports of deaths as a result of water contamination in the area, 960km (600 miles) south-west of Beijing. Xinhua did not say how the spill had affected the river's wildlife, but it added that long-term plans were being drawn up to repair damage to the environment. "The polluted area will continue to be under strict control and monitoring," it added.
3 October 2000 – Singapore
At 06.15, local time, today, m tanker Natuna Sea, (51,095 gt, built 1980) eastbound, ran aground in Indonesian waters off Batu Berhanti Beacon in lat. 01 11.31N, long. 103 53.10E, in the Singapore Strait. The shipmaster reported that four of the vessel's cargo tanks had been damaged. The affected tanks contain an estimated 40,400 tonnes of crude oil. The current estimated oil spilled is 7,000 tonnes. The oil was sighted to be moving south-westerly, away from Singapore. No injuries to the 32 crew on board have been reported. The vessel is in a stable condition and not obstructing traffic flow. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has activated its Marine Emergency Action Procedure Oil Spill Contingency Plan. The Indonesian Embassy and the Malaysian Marine Department have been informed of the incident. Relevant local agencies have also been notified and advised to take pre-cautionary measures. The owner of Natuna Sea has activated salvage company Smit International. The MPA has issued navigational warnings and will continue to monitor the situation. M tanker Natuna Sea ran aground in the Singapore Strait early today, spilling at least 7,000 tonnes of crude oil, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said. An MPA spokesman said salvage operator, Smit International, had put a 328-yard oil boom around the vessel to keep the leak from spreading. He said an oil slick 5,249 feet long by 2,625 feet wide had escaped the boom, and was last seen heading in a south-westerly direction toward southern Sumatra in Indonesia. The MPA has activated its oil spill contingency plan and has seven vessels within Singapore waters monitoring the situation. They could be mobilised if the slick enters Singapore waters. "There has been no sighting of any oil spill heading into Singapore," the spokesman said. Shipping sources said Natuna Sea was chartered by China Oil to sail from Jeddah to Jinzhou in China.
3 October 2000 – As of 18.00, local time, nine vessels, including salvage tugs and anti-pollution vessels, have been deployed by Smit International alongside and in the vicinity of m tanker Natuna Sea, which ran aground this morning in Indonesian waters off Batu Berhanti Beacon, in Singapore Strait. Smit International was engaged by the vessel's owner, to carry out salvage operations and to refloat the vessel. Three hundred metres of boom have been placed around Natuna Sea to contain the oil. Anti-pollution vessels continue to spray dispersants on the oil patches. In addition, at about 17.15, local time, a C-130 aircraft from East Asia Response Limited carried out an aerial spray of oil dispersants on oil patches around the vessel. A total of 15,000 litres of dispersants was used. The one mile by half a mile oil patch previously sighted near the vessel has been dispersed. Preparations are being made for a ship-to-ship transfer of the remaining oil from the Natuna Sea. The Natuna Sea is currently stable and there is no sign of the oil spill within Singapore waters. The seven MAP craft deployed since this morning will continue to monitor the Singapore port waters for signs of oil pollution. At about 15.55 hrs, a helicopter reconnaissance was carried out.
4 October 2000 – As of 09.00, local time, today, no oil was sighted in Singapore waters, following the grounding of m tanker Natuna Sea yesterday. This was confirmed by the recce helicopter conducted at 07.35, local, as well as reports from MPA patrol vessels. Some oil patches were sighted in the vicinity of Natuna Sea and are being treated by anti-pollution craft. Oil booms laid around the vessel have contained small fresh oil leaks from the damaged tanks. Natuna Sea remains in a stable condition. A ship-to-ship (STS) transfer of about 5,000 tonnes, commenced at 02.06, local, today, to lighten the vessel. Another STS is planned for 10.00, local. A diving team will be carrying out an underwater survey today, to further determine the extent of damage to the hull. The MPA's Emergency Operations Centre continues to be manned around the clock to oversee the oil spill response operation. Seven MPA craft are also deployed to monitor the Singapore port waters for signs of oil pollution. Eleven other craft are deployed – the salvage company continue to keep watch and clean up the spill in the vicinity of Natuna Sea.
4 October 2000 – A press report, dated today, states: Oil was still leaking today from m tanker Natuna Sea, officials said. "There have been reports of some fresh oil leaks from the damaged tanks today," said Ong Chong Pheng, a spokeswoman for the Singapore Maritime and Port Authority. The vessel's management earlier had said the leakage had stopped within hours of the mishap, but officials in Singapore said there was still some leakage today. Chong called the amount of the latest leaks "not very significant", but said the exact amount was not known. A private salvage company sent additional salvage and clean-up craft to the site today, the Maritime and Port Authority, or MPA, said in a statement. An oil patch about one mile long and half a mile wide was sighted early Tuesday drifting toward Indonesia's Riau islands, which lay about 12 miles south of Singapore. Clean-up crews dispersed the patch by spraying it with chemicals from boats and from a plane. Salvage crews contained the latest leakage today with an oil boom placed around the vessel, the MPA statement said. They also began transferring oil from the stricken vessel early today to another vessel, the MPA said. It was not clear what caused the tanker to run aground. Indonesian authorities were investigating, Ong said. The Natuna Sea left Jeddah, Saudi Arabia en route to China, and was supposed to stop in Singapore for refuelling.
4 October 2000 – The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore's Emergency Operations Centre continues to oversee the oil spill response operation around the clock following the grounding of m tanker Natuna Sea yesterday morning in Indonesian waters off Batu Berhanti Beacon in the Singapore Strait. "As of 20.00 hrs, the seven patrol craft deployed by the MPA reported no sighting of oil in Singapore waters during their recces," said Capt Khong Shen Ping, Director (Port) of the MPA. A helicopter recce, the third to date, also reported no sign of any oil pollution in Singapore waters. The Natuna Sea remains in a stable condition. This is facilitating the second ship-to-ship transfer of more than 15,000 tonnes of oil from the damaged tanks of the vessel. The transfer, which commenced at 16.45 hrs, is expected to be completed about 13.00, October 5. A total of 11 anti-oil pollution craft deployed by the salvage company are on scene to clean up any patches of oil sighted around Natuna Sea. The oil booms laid around the vessel have helped to contain the fresh oil leaks from the damaged tanks. A diving team to carry out an underwater survey to further determine the extent of damage to the hull of Natuna Sea had to be called off because of strong currents. The MPA patrols will continue to monitor the situation in Singapore waters.
4 October 2000 – M tanker Natuna Sea, which ran aground in the Singapore Strait yesterday, is still leaking bits of crude oil but the patches are being contained by booms laid around the vessel, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said today. "They are very small patches. The vessel remains in stable condition," an MPA spokeswoman said. MPA said 5,000 tonnes of crude was transferred from the tanker to another vessel this morning and a further 15,000 tonnes would be moved today. A diving team was scheduled to inspect the extent of the damage to the hull of the tanker which was carrying 40,400 tonnes of crude from Jeddah to China. MPA said a 1.6km-long oil patch was dispersed yesterday and no oil was sighted in Singapore waters.
5 October 2000 – At about 23.00, local time, October 4, some of the dispersant-treated oil spill, which had resulted from the grounding Natuna Sea were sighted in the Singapore port waters near the Shell Single Buoy Mooring (SBM) area. The small patches of treated oil were reported to be moving east towards Pulau Sebarok. Small patches of treated oil were also sighted off the Eastern Anchorage at 01.25, local, today. The treated oil patches were detected by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore's (MPA) patrol craft during their round-the-clock recces. The MPA patrols reported that the fish farms off St John's Island, Raffles Anchorage, Sentosa Island, and the East Coast Parkway remained safe and were not affected by the treated oil patches sighted. The Sentosa Rangers and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) have been alerted. Strong winds of about 25 knots from the south-westerly direction had pushed the patches of treated oil eastwards into Singapore's port waters. However, the situation is under control. A total of 18 anti-oil pollution craft have been deployed to the affected areas to clean up the oil pollution. Response actions undertaken in the last ten hours since the sighting of the oil patches included further surface spraying of oil dispersants, surface agitation and recovery of the treated oil patches. The second ship-to-ship (STS) transfer of oil from the damaged tanks of the vessel by the salvor is in progress. The oil booms laid around Natuna Sea have helped to contain small fresh oil leaks from the damaged tanks after which they had been dispersed. Another three craft continued to monitor and clean up any oil slick sighted around Natuna Sea. Supporting agencies such as the oil terminals under the MPA Marine Emergency Action Procedure have been activated to stand by their anti-oil pollution craft, skimmers and oil booms for deployment to clean up any oil patches sighted in the port waters. The MPA Emergency Operations Centre and patrol vessels will continue to monitor the port waters for any oil.
5 October 2000 – M tanker Natuna Sea. The anti-oil pollution work carried out since early this morning has substantially dispersed the oil patches previously sighted in Singapore port waters near the Shell Single Buoy Mooring and off the Eastern Anchorage. Strong south-westerly winds of about 25 knots had pushed these patches of dispersant-treated oil into Singapore's port waters. About 13.30 hrs, the Sentosa Rangers informed the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore that small lumps of oil had washed up on Sentosa's beaches and that workers had been engaged to clean up the oil. The MPA has deployed additional oil booms at Sentosa to prevent more oil from reaching the island's beaches as well as at the entrance to Marina bay. The aerial recce conducted at 14.35 hrs had spotted oil washed up on the beaches of St John's Island and Pulau Sakijang. Additional resources have been deployed by the MPA to combat the oil pollution. The MPA has kept the Environment Ministry, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore and the relevant authorities in Malaysia and Indonesia updated on the developments. Clean-up operations continue in the affected areas with the spraying of dispersants, surface agitation and recovery of treated oil. Two MPA flotsam retriever craft have been deployed to collect oil-contaminated flotsam in the Eastern Anchorage. Aerial reconnaissance of Singapore's port waters will also continue. The ship-to-ship transfer of oil from the damaged tanks of the Natuna Sea is still in progress. So far, about 15,000 tonnes of oil have been removed from the vessel. The salvor estimates that a total of 35,000 tonnes of oil have to be removed from the vessel before she can be safely re-floated. Currently there are eight pumps working to transfer the oil from the vessel.
6 October 2000 – As of 06.00, local time, today, most of the sea areas within Singapore's port waters have been reported as clear of oil by MPA patrol craft. Small isolated patches of oil were sighted off Raffles Lighthouse and near the Eastern and Western Anchorages. Anti-pollution craft were immediately deployed to these areas to clean up the oil. As of now, a total of 20 anti-pollution craft have been deployed to fight the oil spill within Singapore's waters, which had occurred as a result of the grounding of m tanker Natuna Sea. More skimmers are being deployed to collect the oil and oil-covered debris. Beach clean-up on the affected islands by Tanker Pacific's contractors will commence this morning. Another aerial recce was conducted at 08.30, local, today, to assess the situation. The ship-to-ship transfer of the remaining oil on Natuna Sea (which is managed by Tanker Pacific) is still in progress. To date, a total of 24,500 tonnes have been transferred from the vessel. The MPA Emergency Operations Centre and patrol vessels will continue to monitor the port waters and co-ordinate the clean-up operations round the clock.
4 October 2000 – River Maranon, Peru
A boat carrying some 7,000 barrels of crude oil for Pluspetrol, the Argentine-owned firm that is Peru's biggest oil group, spilled a "considerable" amount of oil into a river in the northern Peruvian jungle, the government said today. "It is not yet possible to determine the volume of oil spilled into the River Maranon since part of the 7,000 barrels being transported on the vessel had been transferred to another boat," the Energy and Mines Ministry said in a statement. But it said that "the information we have suggests it is a considerable quantity of crude". It said the spill occurred around 06.00 yesterday, 11.00, UTC, and may have been triggered by a collision. The Maranon is a tributary of the Amazon and the area is remote and largely unspoiled. Pluspetrol said in a separate statement the company "has begun a contingency plan envisaged in such cases". It gave no details and did not say how much oil had been spilled.
5 October 2000 – Some 5,000 barrels of oil have spilled into a river in Peru's remote northern jungle, the Argentine company that was shifting the consignment said today. Pluspetrol, which is the biggest oil company in Peru, said in a statement it was not possible to say exactly what volume of fuel had seeped into the River Maranon, a tributary of the Amazon, since a boat carrying 7,000 barrels (294,000 gallons) sank on Tuesday (October 3). "Our preliminary estimates are that approximately 5,000 barrels of oil were spilled, equivalent to 800 cubic metres," it said. It added, however, that no more oil was leaking. "At the time of writing, an almost imperceptible film of hydrocarbon is flowing in the river around Nauta, the provincial capital of Loreto province, and is likely to disappear totally," the company said. Loreto is some 506 miles north-east of Lima. Pluspetrol said the River Maranon displaced 380,000 cubic metres of water per minute at this time of year. It said it had begun a clean-up operation in affected areas. Peru's Energy and Mines Ministry said the spill occurred around 06.00 Tuesday and may have been triggered by a collision.
5 October 2000 – Funchal Port, Madeira
A burst oil/fuel tank at Shell's local terminal in the port of Funchal has resulted in an oil spill. The incident occurred at about 02.00, local time, today. The spill has affected part of the coastline, in an area from Shell's Buoys Terminal and the entrance of the port of Funchal to approximately three miles. The exact amount of oil spilt is unknown at present. Preventive measures have been made by local authorities to avoid proliferation of oil. The marina at Funchal is currently closed to navigation and is protected by booms. At the time of the spill m tanker Galp Sines was discharging oil at the Shell terminal. This was suspended and she is presently awaiting completion of operations. Authorities estimate cleaning operations will be achieved in three days. No injuries were reported.
5 October 2000 – Trinidad and Tobago
A report, dated September 30, states: A barge leaked an undetermined amount of marine diesel fuel off Trinidad's shore in the Gulf of Paria, officials said Saturday (September 30). Ministry of Energy officials were surveying the area off north-western Trinidad on Saturday, the Trinidadian Coast Guard said. By Saturday it had reached from an area outside Port of Spain about five miles up to Chaguaramas, Coast Guard officials said. The fuel spill happened Thursday at the National Petroleum Marketing Co. in an area called Sea Lots, Coast Guard, Lt Ekmata Mooleedhar, was quoted as saying in The Guardian newspaper Saturday. The Coast Guard has declined to identify the barge suspected of leaking the fuel. The area harbours hundreds of yachts, and the fuel coated the hulls of nearly 160 boats, said Amanda Shaw, manager of the Trinidad and Tobago Sailing Association. Beaches along the north-west of Trinidad may have to be closed for several days for clean-up operations, Mooleedhar was quoted as saying.