VLADIVOSTOK, March 1 (Itar-Tass) — Petroleum products have been pumped out of the stricken tanker Karakumneft, loaded into the tanker Aktiva and shipped to the Kuril island of Shikotan.
By Thursday, the tanker, which has been aground at a distance of 80 metres from the shore of Iturup Island, has been fully cleared from fuel after more than 600 cubic metres of solar oil has been removed from it. However, the ship has not got any additional buoyancy and remains aground, the controller service of the port of Kurilsk reported.
The tanker Karakumneft ran aground near Iturup Island on February 15. The ship carried 1,300 tonnes of fuel which the tanker was due to supply to the Kuril islands. Upon running aground, the tanker was holed in nine places. About 300 tonnes of petroleum products spilled out into the sea through the holes.
Specialists believe that the fuel tanks got filled with outside water after the fuel was pumped out. Therefore the Karakumneft remains aground tightly. The engine room of the tanker is completely flooded.
The rescue boat Atlas of the Sakhalin emergency rescue center (SERC) has been assigned to refloat the Karakumneft. A SERC controller has said scuba divers are again preparing to inspect the underwater part of the tanker and estimate the possibility of plugging the holes. When this is done, water is then to be pumped out of the Karakumneft. Only after that the tanker can be refloated.