A giant bulk carrier ran aground on a reef off Mauritius on Saturday evening, despite warnings from the local coast guard that the ship was travelling too near the shore.
Booms are in place, and salvage companies are on standby to handle the delicate operation to safely remove the 203,130 dwt Wakashio bulk carrier from its position some 900 m from the shoreline in the southeast of Mauritius.
The Panamanian-flagged vessel belongs to Japan’s Nagashiki Shipping and was heading from China to Brazil when the accident happened.
The coast guard had tried in vain to contact the ship’s captain for an hour on Saturday evening to warn that its routing looked dangerous. When finally coast guard officials got through to the master, the captain insisted the planned route was safe. A few minutes later, however, the ship radioed local authorities to say the vessel had grounded on a reef.