Government assures Mauritians that beaches are safe

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(eTN) – The recent grounding of a cargo vessel carrying rice to the Ivory Coast on a reef off the Mauritius shoreline has caused concerns of a potential oil spillage, which could be hugely damaging to the reef’s ecosystem and the beaches of the island.

The vessel, following an engine breakdown, had to seek emergency anchorage and then got stuck on the reef, prompting widespread fears of an oil or fuel leak. However, government has now assured the public, and the concerned resort operators likely to be affected, that fuel oil is being pumped out of the vessel and that the salvage operation should be completed by Saturday this week.

Oil booms and other equipment have been deployed, and at the time the information was given, no spill of any sort had been detected. It was, however, also conceded that the removal of the stranded ship could take up to another month before it can be safely towed into Port Louis’ harbor for repairs.