Aden Port Reports 'Great Difficulty' In Refloating Sunken Tanker

The oil ship 'Dia' which had been moored and abandoned at Al-Bariqah since 2014, a dumping ground west off the main port, reported having started sinking on Thursday.

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The Yemen state media agency SABA published a statement by Mohammad Amzarba, CEO of Aden Ports Administration admitting to facing difficulty in refloating the sunken oil tanker 'Dia' despite several efforts since last week when it sunk off the southern coast of the country.

The oil ship 'Dia' which had been moored and abandoned at Al-Bariqah since 2014, a dumping ground west off the main port, reported having started sinking on Thursday.

The sinking has also caused a massive oil spill along with severe environmental damage for almost 20 kilometers along the coast.

Mohammad Amzarba revealed in his statement that an unsuccessful attempt was made to tug the vessel away from the shore after the authorities were warned of possible sinking a week prior. Even though he blamed the bad weather and strong winds for failing to salvage the ship, but he also acknowledged a lack of specialized equipment that could have prevented the sinking.

A government convened environment committee reported that the leaking oil had reached a nearby nature reserve causing dead fish to wash up on the shore.

Ahmed Fahim, a member of the panel blamed authorities for not undertaking cautionary maintenance of such abandoned vessels, which are a threat to the marine environment. But on the other hand, the Yemeni Minister of Fisheries was seen shifting the blame onto the Saudi government.

He said that the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council which controlled the operations of the port city was deliberately being ignorant to abandoned vessels and causing disruptions to other ports in the region.

The recent sinking of 'Dia' has also raised concerns about the ship FSO SAFER, abandoned since 2015, carrying 1.1 million barrels of crude onboard as a potential threat to the environment.

According to Mohammad Amzarba, the authorities are willing to make another effort in modest capabilities to refloat the Dia and avoid any further damage.

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