The Chinese company charged with salvaging the Wakashio bulk carrier, 2020’s most high profile casualty, finished its job in Mauritius and headed to the French territory of Reunion, located 226 km west, to carry out urgent work on a tanker that is breaking up on the tropical island. However, failure to pay bills by the ship’s Indian owner has seen the Chinese company decide to end its salvage operation with the stricken tanker now falling apart.
The Mauritius-flagged Tresta Star grounded on Reunion earlier this month. With the passing of cyclone Emnati last week, the ship has rapidly disintegrated. Local authorities report a hole on the ship’s port side has widened, and parts of the vessel have sheared off in the stormy conditions with an oil slick detected in the area.
The unladen ship ran aground on February 3 on the island’s east coast, having lost power during a cyclone. All crew were safely evacuated.
Salvage firm Lianyungang Dali Underwater Engineering has said it will quit Reunion earlier than planned as the Tresta Star’s owner has not paid up. Equasis lists Mumbai-based Amba Shipping & Logistics as the vessel’s owner. The Tresta Star was deployed in August 2020 to help take oil off the stricken Wakashio.