Date 03 February 2006
This statement is issued by Hanseatic Shipping Company Ltd in response to allegations made against the M/T FLAWLESS in connection with an oil spill in the Baltic Sea.
The M/T FLAWLESS, callsign ELNX4, Liberian flag has come under Hanseatic management in November 2005 and has sailed since under Hanseatic’s quality management system.
The vessel was on a voyage from Muuga to Singapore when an internal transfer of bunkers operation took place. This took place on 23.01.05 at approximately 0700hrs,
vessel’s position 59 21N 02 20.7E with vessel sailing 232 degrees at 14.knots.
An overflow of bunker fuel occurred during this internal transfer operation, which resulted in a quantity of 1.5 to 2.0 cubic meters of fuel oil being pumped on deck. The oil spilled on deck was however contained on deck and immediate steps to clean up the oil on deck had been taken by the crew. The incident is under internal investigation.
The incident was reported to the Estonian Authorities who have acknowledged receipt of this report.
The company has been in contact with the Leading Environmental Inspector of the Estonian Environmental Inspectorate advising him of our investigation and our full co-operation. He has confirmed receipt and acknowledged our commitment.
Information has meanwhile been received indicating that a total of 65 vessels are being investigated in connection with this incident and that the oil that has unfortunately contaminated part of the Estonian coast line and affected wildlife in the area is said to be oil sludge, which has significantly different characteristics than fuel oil.
We will continue to assist the Estonian Authorities in their investigations.
Date 02 February 2006
Attn Estonian Environmental Inspectorate
We are aware of your concerns regarding an oil pollution incident in your country and that you are linking this to an incident on board our vessel, the “Flawless” reported to your authorities, as per Marpol requirements, the fact that an oil spill had occurred onboard during an internal transfer operation, but that as far as could be ascertained, this had been contained on deck.
Please be advised that we are currently continuing our investigation into the incident.
Unfortunately, we have not been able to get on board since this incident occurred as after cleaning the oil from the poop deck and housing, the vessel proceeded on passage to Southwold, UK, where she conducted STS operations.
Following the completion of STS operations, the vessel is now proceeding to Singapore for orders. We will try every opportunity to get one of our Superintendents on board the vessel to complete the investigation into this incident.
On completion of this investigation a report will be made and we shall be more than pleased to provide the interested authorities with a copy.
It seems presently that it is highly unlikely, from the information we have to date, that the vessel was responsible for the pollution event with which you are currently involved.
Emergency Response Team