Tanker leaks 400 tons of oil after collision

Around 400 tons of oil spilled into the Yellow Sea after a tanker collided with another ship off China's largest crude-receiving port earlier this week.

Around 400 tons of oil spilled into the Yellow Sea after a tanker collided with another ship off China’s largest crude-receiving port earlier this week, maritime authorities said on Thursday.

“The amount of oil spilled from the ship into the sea is about 400 tons, and the emergency disposal work is being carried out in an orderly manner,” said Shandong Maritime Safety Administration in a social media post.

“The collision incident has had no impact on ships entering and leaving Qingdao port.”

It added that 12 decontamination vessels were deployed to clean up the oil spill, which took place around 40 nautical miles offshore from Qingdao port in east China’s Shandong Province.

The Liberia-flagged tanker A Symphony was anchored when a collision took place in dense fog with the Panamanian bulk carrier Sea Justice around 9am on Tuesday. The impact caused a breach in A Symphony’s cargo tanks and ballast tanks, A Symphony’s manager Goodwood Ship Management said on Tuesday.

“All crew members have since been accounted for, and there are no injuries,” it said.

Qingdao Glory Ships Co, owner of the Sea Justice, has not responded to queries.

An official at the Shandong Maritime Safety Administration told Reuters the amount of oil on the tanker, which had been carrying a 150,000-ton cargo of bitumen blend, was unchanged. That would indicate no more was leaking, although the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the information was not definitive.

A second Shandong official told Reuters the initial plan was to use other vessels, known as lighters, to transfer cargo from the A Symphony, rather than pull it to a port. But first the weather must improve. The administration has warned of strong wind, which could clear the fog, but still might complicate the cleanup.

Ships have been instructed to stay at least 10 nautical miles away from the A Symphony.

Goodwood Ship Management said that “managers are continuing to work closely with the MSA on the clean up operation and the investigation into the incident.”

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