The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) on Thursday (17) has put its assets ready to control the oil spillage reported from a Portuguese Flag Container ship, MV Devon, off the coast Chennai.
By the time preventive action was taken, 10 KL of oil had already spilled into the sea, Indian media reported.
Accordingly, the remaining oil was transferred to another tank with the help of the ship’s crew.
The ICG said, “The pollution response team at Chennai has been alerted and kept on standby. In addition, ICG ships and aircraft deployed at sea are also put on alert in pollution response configuration,”
Information of the mid-sea oil spill, about 450 km South East of Chennai came from the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Colombo during the late hours of Wednesday (16).
As per the Coast Guard, the said Merchant Vessel, MV Devon, is on passage from Colombo to Haldia, West Bengal and developed an underwater crack in the left side fuel tank which contained about 120 KL of Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (VLSFO) resulting in spillage.
The vessel is carrying 10,795 tonnes of general cargo in 382 containers and is manned by 17 crew of mixed nationality and is likely to reach Haldia on Friday, 18th June.
ICG is in continuous contact with MV Devon and the harbour master has reported that the vessel is stable.
It may be recalled that ICG ships and aircraft in a coordinated operation with Sri Lanka deployed vessels and had successfully undertaken a major firefighting operation last month onboard MV X-Press Pearl off Colombo, thereby averting a major environmental disaster.
The vessel, now partially sunk off Colombo, is under the supervision of Sri Lankan authorities and efforts are in hand for its Salvage.
The preservation and protection of the marine environment and control of marine pollution is the function of the Coast Guard.
In 1986 ICG was nominated as the Central Coordinating Authority for oil-spill response in the Maritime Zones of India.