Storm-hit ship leaking oil into Hong Kong’s waters

Oil spill from partially submerged ship causes concern among residents

Storm-hit ship leaking oil into Hong Kong’s waters

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

A 2000-tonne cargo vessel grounded off Nim Shue Wan in Hong Kong’s Discovery Bay is leaking oil into the waters, causing concern among residents.

The vessel, M/VYu Hai 1, is mainland China-owned and registered in Togo. It ran aground against a sea wall on August 23 due to fierce winds and waves caused by Typhoon Hato. Since then, it has been stranded and partially submerged, with an oil leak that has caused residents to urge the Marine Department and contractor to hasten their salvage and cleaning efforts.

Contractors from the ship’s insurer have already placed oil booms to contain the spill and were spotted siphoning away oil from the water’s surface, but there are reports that the oil had already leaked past the booms.

Meanwhile, a representative for the Marine Department said that the vessel’s owner had already commissioned a protection and indemnity (P&I) club to conduct salvage work.

“Marine Department officials have been monitoring the sunken vessel and have urged the association to salvage it as soon as possible and prevent oil pollution,” the spokesman said. He also added that a “small amount” of oil had leaked, but the insurer is already working on clean-up operations.

“Only the masts and bridge can be seen now, the rest of it is underwater. My guess is that it will be quite a difficult operation to refloat the vessel,” Islands District councillor Amy Yung Wing-sheung told the South China Morning Post.

“It is worrying,” she added. “There could be another typhoon coming. The danger is if the ship slams into the shore again or into the marina where other boats are berthed. Hopefully, they can speed up the process.”

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