The bulk carrier Benita intentionally grounded on the rocks of southeast coast of Mauritius. The vessel was en route from Paradip, India to Durban, South Africa under ballast, but lost propulsion power and steering gear, grounding over the rocks, suffering breaches and water ingress. According to preliminary information, the grounding was caused by brawl among crew and one of the engineers stopped the engine at dangerous vicinity of rocks. The local authorities started investigation for the accident and detained the vessel. The salvage operation of the bulk carrier Benita will be considered after underwater inspection of the grounding side and hull’s condition.
The area of grounded bulk carrier is under monitoring and surrounded by oil booms, as local coast guard presume that there are damaged tanks. There is sufficient oil spill in the area and local authorities started oil cleaning operation to protect the environment.
One of the crew members is injured during the brawl and will be medevaced.
The bulk carrier Benita (IMO: 9172961) has overall length of 181.50 m, moulded beam of 30.50 m and maximum draft of 10.00 m The deadweight of the vessel is 42,717 DWT and the gross tonnage is 24,953 GRT. The cargo ship was built in 1998 by IHI Aichi Works in Chita, Japan. The owner and operator of the bulk carrier is Greek company Unit Maritime.