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Fiji Sun


Oil Removal In Progress

Oil Removal In Progress
Sunken vessel Southern Phoenix at the Suva harbour. Photo: Taraivini Seru
May 24
11:00 2017

The removal of oil from the sunken vessel Southern Phoenix is now in progress.

This was confirmed to the Fiji Sun by the Fiji Ports Corporation Limited (FPCL) chief executive Vajira Piyasena.

Replying to Fiji Sun’s query he said – “Yes and removal is in progress.”

Fiji Sun has been reliably informed that a total of 183 metric tonnes of heavy oil and 30 mt of diesel are with the sunken vessel.

When asked if the experts had completed their work he said – “To our knowledge, not yet.”

Meanwhile a release by the chief executive officer (CEO) Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) John Tunidau  the Salvage Team is using an oil skimmer to assist MSAF in removing oil contained within the boomed area around the MV Southern Phoenix.

MSAF has made ready two oil skimmers if required to be deployed to remove the oil.

An oil skimmer is a device that separates oil floating on a liquid surface. They are used for a variety of applications such as oil spill response, as a part of oily water treatment systems, removing oil from machine tool coolant and removing oil from aqueous parts washers.

MSAF closely monitors the situation and have the National oil spill response equipment ready to be deployed and implement any clean-up process to ensure that Fiji’s marine environment remains safe from any pollutants from the sunken ship,” said MSAF CEO, John Tunidau.

MSAF and Fiji Ports Corporation Limited (FPCL) continue to monitor the situation 24/7 and have response teams on standby in case of any emergency.

The Salvage team continues to dive daily to ensure any leak is detected immediately and rectified.

Salvage operations continue and 25 containers have so far been recovered from the site. One trailer has also been recovered. The response team is made up of  Salvage Master, Salvors, Divers and Technicians and they according to Mr Piyasena they use the services of local diving companies too.


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