Mauritius Scrambles to Address Massive Oil Spill As Tanker Splits

Authorities in Mauritius arrested the captain of the Japanese-owned ship that ran aground off the pristine waters of the Mauritian coast last month, polluting the sea with tonnes of oil. "We arrested the captain and his second-in command today. They were taken to court on a provisionary charge. The investigation continues from tomorrow with the interrogation of other crew members," said spokesman Inspector Shiva Coothen. The boat hit a coral reef on 25 July and more than 1,000 tonnes of oil leaked out of the boat a week later, before splitting apart.

In this image, captured on 11 August by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission, the MV Wakashio, visible in the bottom of the image, is stranded close to Pointe d’Esny, an important wetland area. The oil slick can be seen as a thin, black line surrounded by the bright turquoise colours of the Indian Ocean. Oil is visible near the boat, as well as other locations around the lagoon.

InFocus

On 25 July 2020, the bulk carrier MV Wakashio ran aground in front of Pointe d'Esny, one of the most important tourist destinations on the island of Mauritius.This collage composed of two images acquired on 1 and 6 August 2020 by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellites, shows the bulk carrier stranded near the reef (on the left) and the oil spill (on the right).

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