Malaysia tackles 3km-wide tanker oil spill near Singapore

Today Online 20 Jun 17;

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia is using chemical dispersants to break up an oil slick off its coast after a tanker laden with marine diesel sank last week, a top official said Tuesday (June 20).

The MT Putri Sea, registered in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, went down on Thursday in a busy shipping lane off the southern state of Johor, near Singapore.

Authorities said all six Indonesian crew were missing and feared dead.

Two marine department boats were using chemical dispersants on the more than 3km-wide slick, Zulkifili Abu Bakar, director-general of the Maritime Enforcement Agency, said in a statement.

The oil spill is close to Petronas’ billion dollar refinery and petrochemicals integrated development project in Pengerang.

Mr Zulkifili said the spill had not affected shipping activities and that the affected area was not a fishing zone.

Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, natural resources and environment minister said a “tier one” response has been initiated to fight the oil spill.

“Measures are being put in place to ensure the oil slick does not reach land,” he said in a separate statement.

Tier one is regarded as a minor oil spill that can be resolved within days. AFP

Oil spill approaching RAPID project area in Pengerang
Malay Mail 20 Jun 17;

KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 ― Part of the oil spill from the tanker, MT Putri Sea which caught fire and sank last Thursday is headed towards the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project area in Pengerang.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said RAPID had mobilised a Tier One response by utilising equipment and personnel to tackle the spill.

“The Department of Environment (DOE) and related agencies will continue to monitor the oil spill and take measures to tackle the incident,” he said in a statement here today.

On Thursday morning, the tanker was ablaze and sank 4.6 nautical miles from Tanjung Setapa, Pengerang.

Wan Junaidi said preliminary investigations found a kilometre-long oil slick offshore but until Saturday, there was still no sign of oil in the beach areas close to the scene of the incident. ― Bernama

MMEA: Operation to find six crew of MT Putri Sea ends
The Sun Daily 19 Jun 17;

JOHOR BARU: The search and rescue (SAR) operation for six crew of the tanker MT Putri Sea which went missing when it caught fire and sank near Pengerang, Thursday, was ended yesterday.

Southern Maritime Region (Operations) deputy director Maritime Captain Sanifah Yusof said the operation ended at 7pm because there was no indication on the missing crew.

"The MMEA Southern Maritime Region via the the Johor Baru Maritime Search and Rescue Coordinating Centre (MRSC) had conducted a SAR to find the six crew of the tanker MT Putri Sea which went missing after it caught fire and sank on June 15.

"The four-day operation until June 18 (yesterday) covered a search area of almost 45 nautical square miles and along the Pengerang coast," he said via a statement here today.

Sanifah said the operation involved more than 50 officers and personnel of various agencies including the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN), Marine Operations Force (MOF), Fire and Rescue Department and Malaysian Civil Defence Force.

He said the operation was also aided by Singapore and Indonesia to find the crew in their respective waters, but were futile.

He said the SAR would be reactivated if there was a report on the location of the crew.

"Although the SAR is ended, the operation to clean up the oil spill is still going on, co-ordinated by the Malaysian Marine Department and assisted by the Department of Environment, MMEA and other related agencies," he said.

Early on Thursday morning, six Indonesian crew went missing after the tanker blew up and was believed to have sunk at 4.6 nautical miles south west of Tanjung Pengelih, near Pengerang.

The crew were Akhmad Faharuddin, 35; Muhamad Heri Hernanda, 28; Abdur Rahem, 31; Rendy Alamanda, 28; Sulkifli, 39, and Yohanis Sumari, 35.

MT Puteri was believed to be carrying crude oil and was registered at Malabo Port, Equatorial Guinea.

The report on its disappearance was received from the Singapore Police Coast Guard (SPCG) at 5am after the ship's agent failed to contact it.

Yesterday, RMN chief Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarlzaman Ahmad Badaruddin said KD Perantau detected an underwater object which was believed to be the sunken tanker MT Putri Sea using Multi-Beam Sonar. — Bernama

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