“Wakashio” accident off Mauritius: captain convicted of oil accident

As of: 12/28/2021 11:25 a.m.

After the “Wakashio” disaster, around 1000 tons of heavy fuel oil ran into the clear waters off Mauritius in the summer of last year. Now the captain and the first officer have been sentenced to prison terms.

A court in Mauritius has sentenced the captain and the first officer of the freighter “Wakashio”, which crashed in 2020, to 20 months’ imprisonment each.

According to the judicial authorities in Port Louis, the Indian captain Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar testified that he had “had a few glasses” before the accident and therefore did not notice that the ship was so close to the island. According to the crew, a birthday party had taken place on board.

Defendants admitted guilt

The first officer Hitihanillage Subhoda Janendra was also convicted of endangering the “safety of the sea”. The court considered that the two defendants had admitted their guilt in the trial.

According to the ship insurer Japan P&I, the two men were released from the remaining four months imprisonment for good conduct and the 16-month pre-trial detention. Both men could return to their home countries shortly.

1000 tons of oil leaked

The “Wakashio” ran aground on a coral reef in the southeast of Mauritius on the voyage from Singapore to Brazil in the summer of 2020. About 1000 tons of heavy oil leaked. The Mauritius government spoke of the worst ecological disaster the vacation paradise has ever experienced.

The economy of the small island state in the Indian Ocean is based on tourism. The clear waters and white beaches attract many vacationers. The island includes the well-known coral reef Blue Bay and the Pointe d’Esny with its mangroves. Thousands of Mauritius residents helped clean up the oil spill.


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