A Mauritius Port Authority (MPA) tug, the Sir Gaetan, sank yesterday in the course of assisting the continuing clean-up efforts following the grounding of the capesize bulker Wakashio.
This morning, Mauritius media report that four members of its crew of eight have been been successfully rescued from a lifeboat, but two are confirmed dead and two remain missing, with search and rescue efforts continuing.
The tug had been towing an empty barge, L’Ami Constant, that was intended to be on standby. as a precautionary measure, in case there was a further fuel leak from the Wakashio, whose aft part remains aground. In heavy weather, the barge slammed into the Sir Gaetan, resulting in hull damage that led to the tug taking on water and sinking.
The owner of the barge, the Taylor Smith Group, said today that the barge had not recovered any residue from the Wakashio and, being unpowered, had no fuel oil or engine oil aboard. The barge had been found afloat and intact.