October 19, 2021

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This ship is a floating disaster

This ship is a floating disaster

For four years, the supertanker FSO Safer has been rotting in the Red Sea. The images show that the condition of the abandoned ship is constantly deteriorating, which increases the risks of the ship’s cargo leaking into the sea. In this case, it can have serious consequences.

FSO Safer is loaded with 1.1 million barrels of crude oil. There’s four times the amount of oil that Exxon Valdez spilled in the Gulf of Alaska in 1989, which to this day is considered the worst oil spill ever.

The whole area is affected

Experts have long sounded the alarm about the consequences of a possible spill in the Red Sea, but now it turns out that the extent could be worse than initially thought.

FSO Safer is stranded off the port of Ras Issa, along the western coast of Yemen. Photo: Maxar Technologies via AP

A recent report states that the leak from the FSO Safer will leave eight million people in the area without water. At the same time, the entire Yemeni commercial fish stock can be eliminated in just three weeks, according to Nature Sustainability. The consequences will not only affect Yemen. Saudi Arabia, Eritrea and Djibouti will also be affected by what may be one of the worst environmental disasters in modern times.

It is controlled by the rebels

The United Nations has been trying for a long time to get rid of dangerous goods, but so far to no avail. The area is controlled by the rebels, and despite frequent talks between the rebels, the United Nations and the Yemeni authorities, the United Nations has not been granted permission to board the ship. The rebels demand a guarantee of repair of the ship, but the United Nations does not currently have the funds to implement this, he writes Watchman.

The potential leak will likely result in more central coastal cities in Yemen, such as Saleef and Al Hudaydah, having to close their ports. This, in turn, could lead to a national fuel crisis in the country, with prices expected to rise by as much as 80 percent.

Nature Sustainability indicates that even if half of the oil spill evaporates within a day, the remaining quantities will reach the Yemeni coast within a week. This, in turn, will result in several million people suffering from food shortages, in one of the countries that is already home to one of the most serious famines in the world.

The possibility of leakage is constantly increasing. Nature Sustainabilty warns that the clearly rickety FSO Safer also has only one hull, meaning any spills will flow directly into the sea.

The report notes that a number of factors could cause a leak on the increasingly malfunctioning ship, and it asks the United Nations to act before it is too late.

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