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Wednesday, August 19, 2020 

Bulk shipping trade body Intercargo has issued a statement expressing its sympathy to the people of Mauritius as they face the state of environmental emergency declared as a result of the grounding of the MOL bulk carrier 'Wakashio'.

Intercargo says: "No doubt once the facts are known, there will be valuable lessons to be learned from the grounding of the 203,000-dwt bulker off the coast of Mauritius, with the resulting damage to the marine environment and the livelihoods that depend on it.

"Intercargo calls for more assistance to be provided to restrain the further spreading of leaked oil and to collect it as quickly and effectively as possible. It also urges the Flag State and all involved stakeholders to investigate this environmental tragedy both transparently and in depth, and to release the findings as a matter of urgency.

“We are relieved that the crew was safely evacuated, and that any loss of life has been avoided in this tragic incident. As an industry we must ensure such accidents are avoided especially in busy sea lanes, which pass through pristine environmental habitats and island nations, where people are dependent on marine life and tourism.

“Of course we must express our concerns that such an incident can still occur today, despite the advanced navigational equipment, modern training methods and up-to-date weather routeing services currently available to the shipping industry.”

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