Fermenting freighter to be towed to safe port

22nd February 2007, Comments 0 comments

22 February 2007, SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA - The Dutch-flagged freighter whose cargo began fermenting and emitting harmful fumes will have its load of fertilizers chilled in a safe port.

22 February 2007

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA - The Dutch-flagged freighter whose cargo began fermenting and emitting harmful fumes will have its load of fertilizers chilled in a safe port.

The director of the Sasemar maritime rescue agency, Pilar Tejo, told reporters the use of water to "selectively chill" the contents of the ship's hold will begin on Thursday.

At the same time, the regional government of Galicia has put emergency crews on stand-by in case the operation goes wrong.

The Galician leader, Emilio Perez Touriño, said his priority is "preventing the irritating gases from reaching the coast".

The Ostedijk was en route from Porsgrunn, Norway, to the Spanish Mediterranean port city of Valencia last weekend when fumes from the fermenting cargo seeped into the engine room, forcing a shutdown of the ship's propulsion system.

The secretary-general of the environmentalist group WWF/Adena, Juan Carlos del Olmo, told EFE the experience of the Ostedijk shows that the European Union has not fulfilled its commitment to establish a map of safe havens for vessels in trouble.

He said that after the tanker, Prestige, spilled 77,000 tons of fuel along the Galician coast in 2002, the EU pledged to create a map of harbors equipped to aid ships in distress.

The Prestige disaster did enormous environmental and economic damage to Galicia, a region heavily dependent on fishing.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

 

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