General News of Saturday, 2 June 2018
MT Alice, an oil tanker vessel loaded with 1,200 metric-tons of light crude oil, split into two at the Tema Port anchorage on May 24, this year.
The Bahamas registered oil tanker called at Tema Port anchorage May 12, 2018 with 13 crew made up of 11 Nigerians and two Ghanaians.
All the 13 crew were rescued by another vessel MT Colled Alice, which was nearby when the incident occurred.
The incident is the first time an oil tanker had split into two halves at any Ghanaian anchorage in either the Tema ot Takoradi Ports.
Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Punamane, Tema Port Security Manager, told the Ghana News Agency that the cause of the vessel split was yet to be unravelled, adding however that the oil vessel divided into two halves with the stern drifting towards fairway and the harbour entrance of the Tema Port whiles the bowl remained at the same location due to the weight of the anchor.
“Within hours, the ship split into two. The stern of the oil vessel drifted away from the bowl. But we were able to pull the stern out of the danger area where it won’t disturb other vessels”, he noted.
Lt. Col. Punamane said the Port Authorities, National Petroleum Authority, agents of the vessel and other stakeholders had worked fervently to prevent polluting the water with the oil.
He explained that while authorities had managed to prevent a spillage of the oil, they were doing their best to get the sunk part to float adding that the fuel in the other part was also carefully being transferred to fuel tankers with the help of cannons.