WINDHOEK, 10 MAY – The Japanese fishing vessel that ran aground north of Henties Bay about a month and half ago, has been declared a wreck and will be removed.
Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of Works and Transport (MWT), Julius Ngweda told Nampa on enquiry Wednesday it is no longer technically practical to remove the Fukuseki Maru No. 7, which hit a rock and got stuck about 500 metres from the shoreline on 25 March 2018 at Mile 108.
The vessel was reportedly on its way from Angola to the Port of Walvis Bay with a consignment of fish.
The impact against the rock damaged the vesel’s fuel tank that carried 120 metric tonnes of marine diesel. The diesel started leaking into the sea, but urgent action stopped the leakage.
Ngweda said liability insurer known as Protection and Indemnity Club is expected to assume responsibility for wreck removal, following the issuance of a wreck removal order by the MWT on 17 April.
He said about 60 metric tons of fuel oil and slops was removed from the wreck for proper disposal, whilst 10 metric tonnes of fuel and other oils remain on board the wreck but is expected to be removed during the wreck removal stage.
The fish are still on the wreck.
“It is strongly believed to be completely spoiled and therefore unfit for human consumption. Its removal will form part of the wreck removal process,” Ngweda said.
He added that the process of wreck removal could take between 90 and 180 days from the date of the wreck removal order, depending on the method used.
The ministry cautioned the public to desist from attempting to board the wreck or swim near it, because they could be at risk of being crushed as the vessel is constantly moving.
“There is also a danger of suffocating on board due to the presence of poisonous gases released by the spoilt fish,” Ngweda stated.