Photo: Long-Yuan-Yu; Credit Deven Anacootee/BLJ London

Mauritius: Grounded Chinese fishing vessel removed from reef

The Chinese fishing vessel that struck a section of Mauritius’ western reef last week has been refloated and towed to the country’s capital Port Louis, the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) said.

As Offshore Energy – Green Marine reported, Lu Rong Yuan Yu 588 vessel, carrying 130 tonnes of oil, ran aground off Pointe-aux-Sables, in the northwest of the main island, on March 7, causing a minor oil spill.

The ship had 19 crew members on board, who have all been brought to shore and put in 14-day quarantine in line with the COVID-19 safety protocols.

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The government of Mauritius deployed around 300 metres of oil booms as a precautionary measure following reports of oil in the water.

As informed, on inspection by divers it was found that the spillage of fuel had not come from any structural damage to the vessel.

Mauritian authorities started the process to remove some of the 130 tonnes of fuel and 5 tonnes of lubricants on board on Monday. The vessel was removed on March 11, 2021.

The salvage operation was led by the government of the Republic of Mauritius and the National Coastguard.

The response was supported by the local fishing community as well as a specialist environmental response team from Polyeco.

As informed, the government of Mauritius has launched an investigation into the incident and has issued an order to detain the vessel, the Lurong Yuan Yu.

The crew of the Chinese registered trawler will also remain in Mauritius to assist with the ongoing investigation.