Oil leaks from Mauritius mutiny ship
Oil spill booms have been put in place around the grounded bulker Benita with reports over the weekend of bunker fuel washing up on the nearby shoreline.
An attempted mutiny, followed by a huge fight among the all Filipino crew of the bulk carrier Benita led to its grounding on reefs off Mauritius early on Friday morning.
Divers are assessing the ship today with early reports suggesting three out of five holds have been damaged. Five Ocean Salvage is starting to pump out the ship’s bunker fuel today.
Meanwhile, the engineer who was medevaced from the ship, Alvin Maderse, has had to be put into an induced coma as his situation deterioriated over the weekend. The engineer was struck in the head by a metal pipe by a fellow crewmember, Omar Palmes Taton, who has since been held in a police cell charged with aggravated assault.
Investigators are interviewing the master and crew of the ship to identify what happened.
Meanwhile, the national coast guard is being questioned how it failed to notice the ship had entered Mauritius waters before it hit the rocks.
“The grounding followed an incident on board involving a crew member who suffered a serious medical episode which led to him attacking one colleague before causing extensive damage to the engine room systems that led to a loss of power to the vessel,” the statement said. “During the intervening time that it took to restore power, the vessel went aground. The injured crew member is receiving medical attention ashore for this seizure. There was no suggestion of a wider conflict on board and all the remaining crew members are safe and accounted for.”
Once aboard, the coast guard team entered the engine room, which had been barricaded, and arrested the chief engineer, who was the suspected leader of the fight aboard the ship. He was evacuated for medical treatment; local reports indicate that he had been shot. The remainder of the crew are safe.
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