Oil Tanker splits into two at Tema Port and spills oil

BY: Benjamin Xornam Glover

A Bahamas registered oil tanker vessel, MT Alice which had called at the anchorage of the Tema port has caved in and split into two leading to some oil spillage.

The accident happened at about 9:42pm on Saturday, May 26, 2018.

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The vessel which was carrying 1,200 metric tons of light crude oil, saw the stern drifting away from the bow.

Authorities from the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority GPHA, Ghana Navy, Ghana Maritime Authority and other allied agencies managed to transfer all the remaining light crude oil onboard the split vessel into oil tanker trucks which were brought in on time to prevent any further oil spillage in the Ghanaian waters.


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Rescue

The vessel had called at the anchorage on Saturday, May 12, 2018 and had a crew made up of 11 Nigerians and two Ghanaians.

According to Graphic Online sources, but for the timely intervention of another vessel, MT Colled Alice which was positioned nearby which went to the rescue of the crew, the incident would have recorded serious casualties.

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Sources at the Port, told Graphic Online, they suspected the vessel was in a poor condition and lacked maintenance.

Security

The Security manager at the Tema Port, Col Joseph Punamane in an interview said this is the first time such an accident has been recorded at the anchorage of the Tema port or anywhere in the Ghanaian waters.

He said though the cause of the accident is unknown, the various stakeholders will begin their investigations to unravel the truth, warning persons found culpable will be dealt with.

Maintenance

Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister of Transport, Mr Daniel Titus Glover has called on the Ghana Maritime Authority(GMA) and other stakeholders to ensure that vessels that call at the country's ports are sea worthy to prevent avoidable accidents from occurring.

In an interview with journalists following the accident, he indicated that the GMA has a great role to play in ensuring vessels that call in at the ports are in good condition.

The Deputy Minister of Transport bemoaned the state of the vessel and raised concerns over the rusty state of the some of them which he said could easily pass for scraps, and called on the appropriate agencies to act.

"Immediately I saw the tanker, the question I asked myself was, is this sea worthy? We have surveyors who assess ships that call at the port. This falls directly under the GMA and I will bring this to their attention," he said.

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