While sailing southeast of Newfoundland in heavy weather on Thursday 10 February, an emergency bilge operation of the Alaskaborg’s cargo hold resulted in the unintentional outflow of an oily water bilge. Different media report the spill involves some 30,000 litres of fuel.

The 17,294-GT general cargo vessel Alaskaborg was on its way to Rotterdam from Baie Comeau, Quebec. Wagenborg says in a statement that the crew took immediate action after the emergency bilge operation resulted in the spill and managed to prevent a further outflow of the oily water. There were no injuries on board the vessel.

The Canadian authorities directed the Alaskaborg to St. John’s, where authorities have already attended the vessel for inspection. According to Wagenborg, the exact circumstances of the incident are unknown, but stresses its crew is fully cooperating with Transport Canada as the situation is being investigated.

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Oil spill response

Wagenborg has developed a response plan, which includes having two vessels with pollution response equipment on standby in the area and land-based teams conducting shoreline assessments. The pollution response is being monitored by the Canadian Coast Guard. The Coast Guard has asked mariners in the area to report any sightings of fuel or affected wildlife.

The Alaskaborg measures 142 x 21 metres and was built in 2012. It sails under the Dutch flag.

Picture by Estormiz/Wikimedia.

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