Fishing vessel runs aground at L’Ilot
A South Korean tuna fishing vessel named Oriental Kim ran aground at around 3am yesterday at L’Ilot, Glacis.
The fishing vessel, carrying around 700 tonnes of tuna and 250 tonnes of fuel, hit a cluster of rocks in the L’Ilot, Glacis area, requiring her 26 crew members, among whom a Seychellois, to be evacuated from the vessel.
The Seychelles Ports Authority (SPA), Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration (SMSA) among other local authorities are carrying out a difficult mission to salvage the fishing vessel.
The chief executive of the SPA, Colonel Andre Ciseau, told Seychelles NATION that the Seychelles Coastguard was alerted of the situation at around 3am yesterday.
“They immediately sent a response team to the scene to evaluate the situation, and informed us at SPA, SMSA and other authorities concerned, so that we too may mobilise our personnel for the emergency response,” Col. Ciseau said
He added that the SPA deployed a tugboat but it was impossible to salvage the vessel.
“We then deployed a tug team and salvage team, who have ascertained that the situation is quite complex due to the manner the vessel crashed into the rocks, rendering it difficult to remove Oriental Kim from where she was perched,” he added.
Following a first attempt to rescue the distressed vessel, a team consisting of SPA, SMSA, maritime police as well as the coastguard representatives, returned to the scene in order to evaluate the risks of an oil spill and other such incidents in the hours of yesterday afternoon.
“This is not like a land based accident, where you can have a removal truck move the vehicle off the road with minimum fuss and planning. With this vessel, there are many risks. All concerned have to meticulously plan to remove it as quickly and as safely as possible,” explained Col. Ciseau.
The director general of the SMSA Joachim Valmont said all the authorities are working tirelessly to put the situation under control.
“We are already pumping all the 250 tonnes of diesel out of the vessel. There was also presence of diesel in the water which the Coast Guard is trying to prevent from spreading elsewhere. For now there is not any risk of ammonia leakage, everything is still intact on the vessel,” he said.
Another attempt was made yesterday around 5pm to remove Oriental Kim from her resting place.
“We will work with the tide, as this will help us in our mission of removing the vessel safely and quickly with minimum impact,” explained Capt. Valmont.
Meanwhile, Capt. Valmont has explained that there will be a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the accident.
Source: NATION 3-10-16
The tunna fishing vessel and been successfully refloated.