Russian Salvors Make Progress Removing Fuel From Grounded Boxship
Salvors are making progress on reducing the risk of pollution from the container ship Rise Shine, which went aground near the city of Nakhodka in Russia's Far East on November 9.
In stormy conditions, the vessel lost an anchor and drifted ashore near Cape Kozino. The conditions on scene were too rough for a rescue vessel to reach the ship, so her 14 Chinese crewmembers was evacuated by a Mi-8 SAR helicopter, with support from a large shoreside team.
In a statement, China's foreign ministry thanked Russian first responders for the rescue.
"All the 14 Chinese citizens were rescued and are now safe," said Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin. "No casualties were reported. We would like to extend our gratitude for the rescue operation to the Russian agencies involved."
Local media reports indicate that the hull of the Rise Shine has cracked and that small, occasional sheens have been spotted on the starboard side of the vessel. However, the hull remains in one piece, and no large-scale spills have been reported.
On Nov. 13, salvors with the Russian Marine Rescue Service began pumping fuel out of the container ship's tanks. Over the weekend, they managed to remove about 40 tonnes of petroleum, but they were forced to halt on Monday because of rough weather conditions. Pumping has resumed, and as of Thursday, salvors have removed about 100 tonnes out of a total of 300 tonnes of fuel and lube oil on board the vessel. A pollution containment boom has also been installed around the hull.
An investigation into the cause of the casualty is under way.