On 25 July, the vessel MV Wakashio with approximately 4,000 tonnes (t) of oil ran aground the reef of Pointe d’Esny natural area, south-eastern coast of Mauritius. At least 1,000 tonnes of oil from the vessel are estimated to have leaked into the sea and along the coastline. Pumping operation were organised to discharge over 2,000 tonnes of the remaining oil from the vessel. Clean-up operations are undergoing along 15 km of the shoreline to remove the oil that arrived to the coast.
On 6 August, following the request of the Republic of Mauritius for equipment and experts in oil spills, pollution monitoring, environment protection and evaluation of damage to the environment the Union Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated. Germany, Norway, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands expressed interest to offer in kind assistance and experts but it was finally not required.
The recovery operations are supported by three oil pollution experts from the UN, four French maritime pollution experts, six emergency rescue experts from Japan and a team of specialists from India. In addition, a team hired by the insurance company (Floch Depollution, a French company specialised in decontamination) and an additional expert sent by the owner of the vessel supports the overall response efforts of decontamination of the vessel. Moreover, a few other countries have offered the services of their experts.
Following the request for assistance from the Republic of Mauritius, EMSA is providing assistance with the acquisition of satellite images.