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Video: Three Taiwanese Fishing Vessels Run Aground in Mauritius

gan sungaralingum
Courtesy Gan Sungaralingum

Published Feb 23, 2022 6:59 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Tuesdsay night, three large Taiwanese fishing vessels ran aground near Pointe-aux-Sables, Mauritus, a few miles to the west of Port Louis. 

An estimated 120 tonnes of diesel fuel is aboard the three vessels, and salvors will prioritize its removal, according to environment minister Kavi Ramano. The Mauritius Ports Authority has activated a spill response plan to minimize the risk of pollution, and boom deployment efforts have begun. Images from the scene show that the vessels are located in pounding surf, which may complicate pollution containment and lightering. So far, no signs of a spill have been reported.

The vessel Wen Hang Dar 168 was the first to go aground, followed shortly by the Foo Man Yu Feng 1 and the Foo Man Yu Weng 168, which both ran onto a sandbank at nearby Bain-des-Dames.

Courtesy Gan Sungaralingum

A representative of the Wen Hang Dar's operator, Iqbal Moulan, told local media that the vessel had gone aground on the shoal in rough weather on Tuesday night. All the crew were rescued by helicopter, and though they were "in shock," they were delivered in good health to a local hotel. 

The crew of the second and third vessels reportedly abandoned ship into the water and were rescued by good samaritans in small craft. Some minor injuries were reported.

The cause of the multiple-grounding incident is still under investigation, but the political opposition has criticized the government of Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth for failing to prevent it. 

"The authorities have learned no lesson after the Wakashio episode," said opposition Labor Party member of parliament Arvin Boolell, referring to the giant bulker that ran aground and spilled fuel in a coral lagoon in July 2020.