DUBAI: The Aden Ports Corporation announced that it was facing difficulty in floating the oil ship “Dia”, which sank off the port of Aden in southern Yemen last week.
The CEO of Aden Ports Administration, Mohammad Amzarba, said in a statement published by the Yemen’s state news agency SABA, that the port administration made several attempts to float “faced great difficulty” due to bad weather and strong winds.
According to Amzerba, the port administration will continue its efforts to float the ship and remove it from its position despite the bad weather conditions and the ports “modest capabilities.”
On Monday, the government announced an environmental pollution that spread to a nature reserve as a result of the sinking of the “Dia” ship in the dumping area in the port of Aden, without mentioning the causes of the sinking.
Saba reported on Thursday that the authorities were warned last week that the boat, Dia was sinking.
Amzarba said port authorities had tried to use a tug to secure the Dia, but that “specialised companies” would have been needed for the job.
Another official at Aden port said the vessel had been moored since 2014 at Al-Bariqah, west of the main port, and had held stores of diesel.
It was not clear how much fuel was stored in the ship held when it sank.
Leaking fuel had now spread along the coast for some 20 kilometres (12 miles) added the second port official, who did not want to be named.
Oil was seen by AFP correspondents washing onto shores surrounding Aden.
Ahmed Fahim, a member of the environmental rescue committee in Aden, said no one had taken "care of the maintenance of the tanker, so it sank and caused a disaster on the coast."
A preliminary government report said the spill had reached a nearby nature reserve. Fahim said dead fish had "washed up on shore."
Several other boats are also abandoned at Aden, raising fears of more potential environmental disasters.
The incident has also rekindled concerns about the fate of the 45-year-old fuel vessel FSO Safer, anchored near Yemen's western Red Sea port of Hodeida since 2015, with 1.1 million barrels of crude on board.
The UN says it threatens a catastrophic oil spill that would destroy marine ecosystems, shut down the fishing industry and close Yemen's lifeline Hodeida port for six months.