Offshore Industry News

Flinterstar Fuel Oil Recovery Underway, No Impact on Belgian Coast Expected

Cleanup of a fuel oil spill leaking from a partially submerged cargo ship off the coast of Belgium is currently making “good progress” according to the vessel’s owner, Flinter.

The spill was caused by a collision between the Dutch general cargo ship Flinterstar and an LNG tanker on 6 October 2015. The ship sank after taking on water, while the LNG tanker Al Oraiq sailed to safety. No fatalities or injuries were reported.

An unspecified amount of fuel oil leaked but the cargo vessel sank with 138 tons of diesel and 470 tons of fuel oil aboard. An oil slick generated by the spill could be seen via the European Space Agency’s Sentinal 1A satellite. Though it stretched to 20.1 km, it remained parallel to the coast and was not expected to impact either the shore or a nearby offshore wind farm.

According to Flinter, removal of heavy fuel oil from the undamaged tanks was expected to be completed by Smit Salvage and Multraship on 11 October. Meanwhile, a second vessel, Offshore Beaver is cleaning up leaked oil from the surface of the water.

Shortly after the collision, Flinter released a statement saying, ““Damage to our good Flinterstar is much worse than we had hoped for. In only a few minutes she was turned into a wreck.” The company added that it would remove the wreck after all remaining oil was safely removed, with cooperation from the Dutch and Belgian governments.

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