Operation ordered to contain oil on sunken oil tanker 24 miles from Chumphon estuary

Thailand’s Marine Department has been ordered to coordinate with the Royal Thai Navy to take immediate steps to contain oil spilling from a sunken tanker in the Gulf, before any reaches the shoreline of the southern province of Prachuap Khiri Khan.

The Thai oil tanker, Por Aandaman 2, which was reportedly carrying 500,000 litres of diesel oil, started to take on water as it was anchored in the Gulf to provide fuel to trawlers, about 24 nautical miles from the Chumphon estuary.

The tanker eventually sank at about 7.15pm yesterday (Saturday) in 50 metres of water, but the captain, Wayu Moryadee, and five crew members were rescued by nearby vessel.

It is not know exactly how much oil remains on the sunken vessel, but some began to spill out and was swept by currents and waves in the direction of the coasts of Pathieu, Bang Saphan Noi, Bang Saphan and Thap Sakae districts of Prachuap Khiri Khan.

Deputy Transport Minister Atirat Ratanasate said today that he had received a report about the sunken tanker and ordered to Marine Department to notify the owner of the vessel to prepare chemical dispersants and booms to contain all oil spilt.

The Marine Department also declared the location around the sunken tanker a dangerous zone and off-limits to any vessels which are not directly involved in the clean-up operations.

The tanker’s owner was also ordered to salvage the sunken vessel, which had been decommissioned.

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