AsiaDry CargoEnvironment

Stricken bulk carrier off Mauritius tipped to break up in the coming hours

With the cracks widening along the buckled hull of the giant Wakashio bulk carrier, locals are bracing for the 203,000 dwt to break up as early as today.

Salvors have managed to siphon off most of the remaining bunker fuel onboard, while clean-up operations remain in full swing across much of the south of the island.

More than 1,000 tonnes of bunker fuel have seeped from the bulk carrier, which grounded two weeks ago, in and around UNESCO protected reef sites.

The 300 m long ship is owned by Japan’s Nagashiki Shipping and on charter to Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL). It is insured by Japan P&I Club.

Satellite data and analysis of the oil spill as of yesterday afternoon shows that the area directly impacted by the oil slick has expanded to almost ten times its original size since the vessel first started leaking heavy oil into the coastal waters six days ago. As of yesterday afternoon the oil slick had expanded to 27 sq km.

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.


  1. Safety management of Wakashio audited and approved by Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (IACS), internationally known for its lack of neatness.

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