18 September, 2013

'Champion 1' still stranded in Mukalla

Almost two and a half months later, after one night being swept and stuck just a few meters away from the center of Mukalla and leaking thousands of tons of a heavy, low quality fuel oil (mazut oil) - the old, oil carrying, Sierra Leonean registered, Yemeni  owned vessel 'Champion 1', is still stranded at the same spot. The oil spill has been contained, the beaches are now cleaner, and the smell of oil is no longer there; but the damage done by the leaking vessel has been extensive.

'SAFETY FIRST' and 'NO SMOKING' very explicitly marked on the tanker. Rather absurd. Oil related companies are supposedly the most stringent about 'safety' - environmental in particular; but, it is oil companies that seem to cause the most environmental damage and disasters world wide. To oceans and seas in particular.

How the oil tanker got swept and stranded here, no body really knows. There are many stories. Eye witnesses say that one early morning, before sunrise, they saw the vessel very close to the city. And since then, it is still there.

However polluted it gets, the sea always cleans itself. Late in the afternoon, children have gone back to swimming and playing at this spot where they have done so for years now - note, in the distance, some of these children swimming very close to the vessel. Swimming that far, where the sea is deep - takes a lot of courage and stamina. It is for such children and future generations, worldwide, that seas and oceans have to be protected and cared for. Especially now, when all seas and oceans face the most threats.

+ Oil spills from stricken tanker off Mukalla coast