Citing the unfolding environmental disaster in Mauritius and the devastation in Beirut, the world outcry is growing louder for UN officials to gain access to a rusting oil tanker moored off Yemen. Leaders from the Arab world along with the environmental group Greenpeace were among the latest to appeal for action.
The single-hull FSO Safer, a 46-year-old converted tanker sits just off the port of Hodeidah in Houthi rebel-held territory. Houthi (Ansar Allah) forces have not permitted UN inspection teams to board the vessel despite repeated appeals.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs issued an update on the situation on August 10 saying the aging vessel is carrying more than 1 million barrels of oil and has had almost no maintenance since 2015. According to the UN, two months ago, seawater began leaking into the engine room, which could have destabilized and sunk the entire vessel, potentially releasing all the oil into the sea. A temporary fix was applied, but it is unclear how long this might last.
A major spill would be catastrophic for the environment and would destroy the livelihoods of coastal communities in Yemen. Most of the oil would likely wash up on Yemen’s west coast in areas controlled by the Houthi authorities. A spill would also likely force Hudaydah port to close for weeks or months, which would cripple Yemen’s largest port. Because Yemen imports nearly all its food and everything else, the UN said this would have devastating consequences for millions of people – including communities located far from the coast.
On July 14, the UN submitted an official request to the Houthi authorities to undertake an assessment and initial repair mission to the Safer. The UN is in contact with the authorities on this and urges them to expedite the necessary procedures so this work can begin.
Previous appeals for UN access to the FSO have not been granted, and overall trust between Houthi forces and the UN is at a low point. In February, the United Nations reduced aid to Houthi-controlled regions because Houthi militias were allegedly blocking or restricting humanitarian missions.
The FSO SAFER oil tanker off Yemen has been left unattended for years. It could explode any day, causing a spill far bigger than the Exxon-Valdez disaster in Alaska.
… unless the UN acts NOW
— Greenpeace (@Greenpeace) August 11, 2020
In a letter to the UN Secretary-General Greenpeace called on the UN to make the situation its top priority and use its “full diplomatic and technical capacity to carry out an urgent on-board technical assessment to determine what repairs are needed to make the vessel at least temporarily safe.” Greenpeace says that the oil should be removed to a seaworthy vessel as soon as possible.
The Arab world is also speaking out. Saudi Arabia urged the UN to push the rebels into letting experts assess damage to a rusting oil tanker. “During a meeting with the UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, Saudi ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Al Jaber stressed the urgent need for experts to access the tanker,” the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Similarly, the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Dr. Nayef Al-Hajraf called upon a team of experts to inspect the FSO Safer oil tanker in Yemen to avoid a serious environmental disaster.
So far the rebels have not shown any sign of changing their position to let the inspections aboard the vessel.
Go to Source
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
Over the course of the past five days, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority arranged a medical intervention for an injured aboard a freighter in the Indian Ocean. On Saturday evening, the Spliethoff tweendecker Dolfijngracht called for assistance while under way about 1,000 nauical miles off the coast of Western Australia. A crewmember had sustained serious […]
The naval forces of the US and Bahrain recently staged a joint force training exercise which showcased the interoperability between coalition warships operating I the Arabian Gulf. Coalition Task Force Sentinel executed combined exercise Sentinel Shield supporting Sentry and Sentinel patrols in the coalition’s area of operations. The guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones and […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
Global commercial aviation charter company Albion Aviation Group is reporting that it is seeing a considerable uptake in its professional cargo broker training courses from the current global pandemic crisis and surge in charter demand. “We have completed a number webinar courses for a whole of host of companies, looking to manage their own cargo […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
Network Airline Management and TAAG Angola Airlines are pleased to announce the renewal of their long-term freighter aircraft contract by an additional 12 months, sealing an ongoing partnership for the foreseeable future. Operating a regular weekly scheduled service from Liege, Belgium, to the capital of Angola, Luanda, Network Airline Management provides a Boeing 747-400F aircraft […]
Qatar Airways Cargo transported 56 SkyCell containers with vaccines from one of the largest vaccine manufacturers worldwide on its scheduled freighter and belly-hold cargo flights for its customer, CEVA Logistics. The 54-tonne shipment consisting of pneumococcal and varicella vaccines were flown from Brussels to Mumbai via the carrier’s hub in Doha on two separate flights. […]