Laden bunker vessel sinks off Tunisia

Divers who inspected the hull of a bunker tanker loaded with 750 tonnes of fuel that sank off southeast Tunisia detected no leaks on Sunday.

The Equatorial Guinea-flagged Xelo, which sank Saturday in the Gulf of Gabes, has settled on its side at a depth of almost 20 m.

The Xelo was travelling from Egypt to Malta when it went down having encountered bad weather on Friday evening. No crew died in the incident.

“The situation is not dangerous, the outlook is positive, the ship is stable because luckily it ran aground on sand,” transport minister Rabie Majidi told reporters. An operation to siphon off the fuel will get underway this week. Booms are in place around where the vessel sank.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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