Oil Spill from Haldia-bound Portuguese flag container ship

Indian Coast Guard is on vigilance after oil spill was reported from Haldia-bound Portuguese flag container ship.

Key Points

  • Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, Colombo notified about mid-sea oil spill about 450 kms South East of Chennai.
  • Portuguese flag Container ship MV Devon developed an underwater crack in fuel tank on passage from Colombo to Haldia, West Bengal.
  • Tank was containing about 120 KL of Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil.
  • Crack resulted in spillage of about 10 KL of oil into sea before preventive action was taken.
  • Vessel was carrying 10,795 tonnes of general cargo in 382 containers and manned by 17 crew.

What is Oil Spill?

Oil spill can be defined as “uncontrolled release of crude oil, gasoline, fuels, or other oil by-products” into environment. It can pollute land, air, or water; however, the term is mostly used for oceanic oil spills. They have become a major environmental problem because of intensified petroleum exploration & production on continental shelves and transportation of huge amounts of oils in vessels.

Impact of Oil spills

  • In ocean, oil spills are harmful to aquatic life as it prevents sunlight from penetrating into sea and reduces dissolved oxygen level.
  • Crude oil damages insulating and waterproofing properties of feathers and fur of birds. Thus, it can decrease body temperature to below-normal levels.
  • Oil spills can damage habitat and reproductive rate of animals.

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