Posted on February 28, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
The Turkish cargo ship, Efe Murat, that ran aground on breakwater off Bari, Italy on the 23rd of February, has continued to list, raising fears over a potential environmental disaster.
The vessel was en route from Ortona to Aliaga, Turkey with a cargo of wheat when high winds caused it to lose control.
The Master initially had planned to take shelter in the port of Bari but changed his mind and attempted to continue with the journey.
Unfortunately, due to the strong winds in the area, the vessel crashed onto the wave breakers, causing significant hull damage to the cargo ship.
Initial surveys by technicians that arrived on the scene suggest that the vessel suffered three holes in her hull as a result of the grounding.
Reportedly, the ship remains structurally sound, as she is resting on a sandy bottom, inclined on the port side.
However, the water inside the engine room has now reached a height of more than two meters and has begun to mix with combustible oils sparking fears of a potential environmental disaster.
The survey report suggests that draining the fuel is of utmost importance in order to guarantee the safety of the vessel and prevent any environmental contamination.
In an effort to prevent a potential spill, local Coast Guard personnel with the support of a barge, have begun a fuel extraction operation on the Efe Murat, that is expected to last four days, in order to extract the 37 tons of diesel oi on site.
Local authorities have opened an investigation against the Captain due to the possibility of negligent navigation.