Indonesia Explores Offloading Tanker Grounded Near Singapore Gas Line
Indonesian authorities are managing the response to an oil tanker that went aground near the busy Singapore Strait. They are reporting that there has been no release of oil from the laden tanker but the situation remains challenging due to strong currents in the area as well as the fact that the crude oil tanker came to rest near a Singapore gas pipeline.
Reports vary on when the 21-year-old tanker went aground and the circumstances behind the incident. Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority is saying that its Port Operations Control Center issued a shallow water warning to the tanker before the grounding. They warned the tanker of the risk of grounding but were informed at around 2020 on October 26 that the Young Yong (306,344 dwt) was aground off Takong Kecil in the Riau Islands, Indonesia in the Singapore Strait.
Singapore reports while the Indonesian Authorities are in charge of the operation, they are monitoring Singaporean water for any oil leaks. The Djibouti-registered Young Yong is reported to remain aground in Indonesian waters but not impeding traffic in either the Singapore or Malacca straits.
The tanker is loaded with 284,429 tons of crude and was making its way from Tanjung Pelepas Port, Malaysia when it grounded. The 1,089-foot long tanker is reported to have a current draft of 70.5 feet.
The Indonesia Navy says it was informed of the grounding on October 27 and sent two patrol boats to monitor the situation and look for potential leaks.
Commander of the Indonesia Navy, First Admiral Kemas M. Ikhwan Madani, said in a statement "This patrol aims to ensure and anticipate leakage of crude oil in cargo tanks so that we can anticipate pollution and environmental impacts, and also important that we make sure MV Young Yong's position is safe for international shipping, does not shift, and does not interfere with TSS Singapore traffic."
There was a crew of 25 aboard the vessel which is owned by a Hong Kong shipping company, East Wind Ship Management. The Indonesian Navy was planning to evacuate the crew on Sunday. In addition, they attempted to send down divers to inspect the hull on October 30 but reported that the currents were too strong. They were planning to attempt dives again on October 31.
The Indonesia Navy reports that they are looking for a tanker of the same specs to handle a ship-to-shop transfer of the crude oil cargo.