27 June 2005

Marine polution risk minimised during Kiperousa salvage operation

The risk of marine pollution at the scene of the stranded Kiperousa, is substantially minimised as an the oil transfer operation which commenced earlier this week, is nearing completion.

The Department is pleased with the progress made by the salvors who began pumping the approximately 250 cubic metres of heavy fuel oil and 63 cubic metres of diesel oil from the grounded Kiperousa onto a receiving tug, the Nikolay Chiker, earlier this week.

The 'Kuswag1', the Department's oil pollution abatement vessel, remains on standby and the Department anti pollution patrol aircraft, 'Kuswag 8', continues to undertake regular aerial surveillance of the area. No further oil leaks have been reported.

The protective boom across the Mtana Estuary located north of the grounded 'Kiperousa which was set up by the departments' response team, would remain in place until the vessel is successfully re-floated. Our response team remains at site, monitoring the situation closely.

The salvors are continuing with attempts to re-float the grounded vessel. The removal operation of the deck cargo has commenced in preparation for the next re-floating attempt scheduled for later today when swell conditions are expected to be favourable.

The Kiperousa, a 14921 gross ton log-carrier, en route from West Africa to the Far East, grounded on a reef off Bhega, 5 miles south of Hamburg in the Eastern Cape on 7th June 2005.

Source: www.deat.gov.za


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