//Salvage crews in a race to pump fuel from agrounded ship in Mauritius

Salvage crews in a race to pump fuel from agrounded ship in Mauritius

The inter-agency United Nations team will “support efforts to mitigate impact of (the) oil spill on natural resources and on (the) population”, read a statement from the UN office in Mauritius.

Japan has dispatched a six-member team, including members of its coastguard, to assist.

Meanwhile France has sent more than 20 tonnes of technical equipment — including 1.3 kilometres (0.8 miles) of oil containment booms, pumping equipment and protective gear — along with technical advisers from nearby Reunion, a French Indian Ocean island.

The Wakashio ran aground with 4,000 tonnes of fuel, and according to a statement by Mitsui OSK Lines, which operates the Wakashio, some 1,180 tonnes of fuel has leaked into the surrounding powder blue waters.

Vashist Seegobin, an ecology and conservation professor at the Mauritius University said that while the amount of fuel seeping from the boat appeared to have slowed, “it is still leaking, we must remain on alert.”

(AFP)