VLADIVOSTOK, February 21 (Itar-Tass) —— A storm that hit South Kuriles on Tuesday has forced rescuers to suspend fuel pumping from the holed Karakumneft tanker that was tossed onto rocks of the Iturup Island, a spokesman for the Sakhalin emergencies administration said.
More than 215 tons of diesel fuel was pumped from the tanker by Monday night. Specialists say there still are about 800 tons of fuel onboard the ship. Divers found holed in the tanker’s hull, some of the fuel has leaked into water and there is a risk more fuel might spill.
The rescue ship Atlas, the transport refrigerator ship Athens, and the Aktiva tanker have come to help the Kerekumneft but they have to wait till the storm is over at sea.
The Karakumneft tanker (home port of Nakhodka) ran aground on February 15, after leaving the bay of the port of Kurilsk. It was not safe to stay at the port during a storm, and the crew wanted to wait in the open sea till the weather improved. The storm however threw the vessel onto rocks. All the crewmembers were evacuated. None was hurt.