The product tanker Nautica Maharani spilled oil into North Channel in Penang, Malaysia and caused major water pollution and oil spot with area of more than 70 sq km. The reason for the oil spill is unknown, but according to preliminary information it happened during tank cleaning operations and damage of ondeck pipeline. The crew of product tanker Nautica Maharani did not reported about the accident immediately, but just after more than 24 hours. This allowed the oil spot to extend and drift to the shore, which caused environmental disaster in the region. At the scene of the accident were dispatched two water cleaning vessels, which should collect the oil and restrict it with oil booms from additional extension.
The local authorities detained the product tanker Nautical Maharani and will follow an investigation about the root cause of the accident, as well as corrective and preventive actions taken by the crew during tank cleaning operations. The ecological specialists will further assess the size of the pollution.
The product tanker Nautica Maharani (IMO: 9546708) has overall length of 119.00 m, moulded beam of 20.00 m and maximum draft of 6.00 m. The deadweight of the vessel is 9,890 DWT and gross tonnage of 7,591 GRT. The ship was built in 2011 by Sumber Smudra shipyard in Teluk Intan, Malaysia. The owner and operator of the tanker is local company El Technique.