Dutch salvage and towage companies Multraship and Smit Salvage on Sunday started removing heavy fuel oil and diesel oil from the general cargo ship Flinterstar which sank after colliding with with the LNG tanker Al-Oraiq off Belgium’s Zeebrugge on October 6.
The 2002-built Flinterstar had around 427 tons of heavy fuel oil and 125 tons of diesel at the time of the incident, an undetermined amount of which leaked into the North Sea.
Belgian authorities are still on site and are engaged in containing the spilled oil.
Dutch shipping company Flinter, the owner of the sunken vessel, said that the crews are currently emptying Flinterstar’s Tank 1, which is the largest one and was left intact after the collision. The oil is pumped to the specialised offshore supply ship Vos Sympathy. The salvage rescue vessel Offshore Beaver to clean-up any leaked oil.
Responding to media reports that the Belgian authorities took charge to remove the wreck, Flinter said that ”both owners of the vessels involved in the tragic accident will contribute the maximum amounts according to Belgian law to the costs of the wreck removal.”
The Marshall Islands-flagged Al Oraiq was in a stable condition after the hit, and was escorted to Zeebrugge to discharge, the vessel’s manager, K Line LNG Shipping (UK) Limited, said.