Cracked Mexican bulk carrier Los Llanitos, which is stuck on the rocks near Barra de Navidad, a small town located on the western coastline of the Mexican state of Jalisco, since October 23rd, will be sunk, according to Mexican authorities.
However, before the vessel is scuttled and converted into an artificial reef, a considerable amount of fuel oil needs to be removed from the 71,665 DWT cargo ship in order to rule out the danger of a potential oil spill from the ship’s fuel tanks, Mexico’s Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA) said.
The ship fell victim to the Hurricane Patricia which hit the Mexico’s Pacific coast last week, wreaking havoc on the local coastal communities before weakening into a tropical depression.
The ship got grounded on the rocks and sustained considerable damage, as the ship’s hull was cracked in the middle and the ship is feared of splitting into half.
Twenty seven crew members of the bulker were airlifted to safety by a helicopter dispatched to the scene by the Mexican navy and are reported to be unharmed.
PROFEPA’s inspection of the vessel determined that there are approximately 425,000 liters of fuel in the ship’s tanks.
As informed, the company which is operating the vessel has started placing containment booms around the vessel.
Companies Brand and Itopf have been charged with salvage and removing of fuel oil respectively, the environmental agency said.
PROFEPA and the Secretariat of the Navy of Mexico (SEMAR) plan to continue with daily tours to the area where the ship is aground to monitor the work and prevent any oil spill.
PROFEPA informed that the removal of fuel oil should begin within next week as the shipping company in charge of this work is pending the arrival of the necessary resources for the purpose.