The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and the Maritime Rescue Coordinating Centre (MRCC) is currently coordinating an emergency response to an immobilised large crude carrier, “YUAN HUA HU”, 309000 dwt built 2015, offshore of the former Transkei Coastline. The tanker is safely anchored 1 nautical mile off Dome Bluff on the outskirts of Port St Johns and being monitored by the MRCC. The tanker is not carrying any cargo. All 27 crew on-board the casualty vessel is reported to be safe and no injuries have been reported.
The tug “Siyanda” was deployed from Durban this morning at 05h40 and is expected to arrive on-scene at 20h00 tonight. She will act as the standby tug until the arrival of the emergency towing tug (ETV), which was deployed from Cape Town this morning with an experienced Salvage Master on-board. The ETV is due to arrive at the tanker within 48hrs.
NSRI Durban station 5, NSRI Port Edward station 32, NSRI Shelly Beach station 20, NSRI Rocky Bay station 39, NSRI East London station 7 and NSRI Port St Johns auxiliary station 28 were placed on alert by MRCC at 07h02 this morning, Wednesday, 27th May, and NSRI remains on high alert. NSRI rescue swimmers have also been placed on alert by MRCC.
A Durban Transnet National Ports Authority Helicopter will be on standby throughout the night.
The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment placed their Tier 1 Oil Pollution Response team and a Smit International Salvage team is on alert, ready to deploy from Cape Town.
SAMSA remains in direct communication with the vessel owner representatives and the master, who is providing their full cooperation to contain the threat to the South African coastline.