The gigantic, 40,000-ton cargo ship ran aground in northeastern Japan, splitting in two and causing a massive oil spill into the Pacific Ocean.
Reuters reports the vessel ran aground in a Japanese Pacific harbor, with multiple news outlets providing shocking footage. At the scene of the current wreck, the enormous ship can be seen cleanly split, with vast amounts of oil leaking out into oceanic waters.
The vessel is the Crimson Polaris, a Panamanian-flagged cargo ship. According to Reuters, the ship was on course for Japan’s Hachinohe Port Wednesday, August 11. That morning, strong winds would carry the Crimson Polaris off course, running it aground in shallow water. The ship’s operator, Nippon Yusen, confirms the horrific course of events.
The cargo ship is so massive that it ran aground 2 miles out from port. While stranded, the Crimson Polaris became unable to move and anchored in-spot. Then, the vessel began to crack from the strain, furthering the catastrophe Thursday as a massive oil leak broke out.
No crew members sustained injuries, with all receiving safe rescue from the Japanese Coast Guard. Reports on the oil spill’s effect on local ecosystems, however, remain untouched.
“A cargo ship that ran aground at a port in Northeastern Japan before being refloated and anchored off the coast, was found spilt apart with oil spewing from the vessel. All crew members have been rescued without notable injuries,” confirms ABC News with the following footage:
In total, 21 crew members have made it off the ship safely by the rescue of Japanese Coast Guard members. The ship itself holds wood chips from Thailand as its cargo.
The remaining two miles to their Japanese port would’ve been the end of the Crimson Polaris’ journey.
Massive Oil Leak Spills from Panamanian Cargo Ship, NYK Denies 3-Mile Long Slick
“A portion of the ship’s wood-chip cargo was lost from the damaged part of the hull, NYK is currently confirming the amount of cargo and impact on the sea area at the site,” Nippon Yusen adds in a statement Friday.
While the cargo itself will not cause lasting ecological damage, the three-mile long oil slick currently pouring from the Nippon Yusen vessel will.
Yet the ship’s operator comments that “Fortunately, no oil pollution has occurred,” which seems to be a falsehood. All current footage of the wreck confirms the extent of the oil leak, with Reuters confirming.
Thankfully, footage also shows crews working to control the contamination. But the damage is already occurring.
In further footage below, the scope of the oil leak can clearly be seen:
As of Friday, the two large halves of the cargo ship are still in shallow waters. The situation is currently under monitoring form Japanese officials. The oil spill, however, may take weeks to contain.