Oil trail from MV RAK spreads | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Oil trail from MV RAK spreads

Oil from the MV RAK has spread from 7 nautical miles on August 7, to 12 nautical miles on August 8. The Indian Coast Guard, the designated first response agency to combat oil spills in the ocean, confirmed that a continuous trail of the oil leak from the vessel is observed up to 12 nautical miles.

mumbai Updated: Aug 09, 2011 01:43 IST
HT Correspondent

Oil from the MV RAK has spread from 7 nautical miles on August 7, to 12 nautical miles on August 8. The Indian Coast Guard, the designated first response agency to combat oil spills in the ocean, confirmed that a continuous trail of the oil leak from the vessel is observed up to 12 nautical miles.

MV RAK which sank around 25 nautical miles off the coast of Mumbai on August 4, started spewing oil into the Arabian Sea around 4 pm on August 6. The ship, owned and managed by Delta Shipping Marine Services, was carrying 290 tonnes of fuel oil and another 50 tonnes of diesel. Built in 1984 at Japan, the ship was carrying 60,054 metric tonnes of coal from Lubuk-Tutung in Indonesia to Dahej Port in Gujarat.

But the rate at which the vessel is spilling oil into the sea has reduced in the last 48 hours. Initially, oil was spilling at the rate of about 1.5 to 2 tonnes an hour, but a fresh assessment carried out indicates that the spillage has come down to 1 tonne an hour, Indian Coast Guard officials said.

A very thick layer of oil has been found till a distance a 1 nautical mile from the site of the wreckage, and gradually decreases, said Coast Guard officials. The spilled oil is thick for the next two nautical miles but after that only the sheen of the oil is visible till 12 nautical miles from the site of the wreck.

The sheen, however, is just about 0.0001 millimetre to 0.0002 millimetres thick, Coast Guard officials said.

SPS Basra, inspector general of Coast Guard (Western Region) said, “Nearly 2,600 litres of dispersants have been used in the last 48 hours, and our operation is in progress to ensure that the spilled oil does not hit the coast of Mumbai.”

Basra said the oil spill from MV RAK Carrier is much less as compared to the incident involving MSC Chitra and MV Khalijia where 1,700 metric tonnes of oil were spilled.

“If the 50 tonnes of diesel spills, it will evaporate. Of the remaining 290 tonnes, only a certain amount will spill,” said Basra. He added that till now the oil spilled from MV RAK Carrier would be ny where between 70 to 100 tonnes if one was to consider the rate at which oil was being spilled.