On 25 July 2020 MV Wakashio grounded on a reef on the southeast coast of Mauritius. She never left and as she was pounded by the waves on the reef her hull failed and she lost 800-1000 tonnes of low sulphur fuel oil which spread 30-35kms along the pristine and beautiful coastline.
The government deployed 3.25km of booms which held some product away from the coast. The public rallied and manufactured nearly 50kms of bagasse booms that held more product until it could be recovered by skimmers, absorbents and pumps. However, the coastline was badly affected.
With COVID affecting tourism, the fishing grounds were closed. Protest against the government’s perceived inaction and slow response to the incident increased.
In the meantime, the ships owners and their insurers appointed clean up companies, one of which was Polyeco who cleaned up the majority of the coastline.
They employed hundreds of local people, hired fishing boats and fishermen to work with them to play their part in cleaning up the waters and the coast they know so well.
After much hard work and then thousands of man-hours, they started handing back parts of the coastline to the government in January and have now virtually finished the cleanup.
This excellent video gives a snapshot of their work:
Links to the webinars that UK and Ireland Spill Association delivered in partnership with Polyeco to discuss the cleanup and waste disposal are here: