Container ship blamed for oil spill in Aruba

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Associated Press

Posted on December 18, 2012 at 5:03 PM

ORANJESTAD, Aruba (AP) — A container ship that brings essential products to Aruba on a regular basis was blamed Tuesday for an oil spill in the Dutch Caribbean island, according to authorities.

Ports Director Alfonso Boekhoudt said the spill occurred when crews tried to empty the ship's ballast tank, which was filled with oil instead of water. Authorities don't know how much oil was spilled, but Boekhoudt said cleanup crews prevented the oil from reaching nearby beaches.

He said two cruise ships and other boats were affected by the spill that occurred in the island's main harbor.

The Southern Bay container ship owned by Belgium-based Seatrade flies under a Monrovian flag and visits Aruba every five weeks. It carries cheese, milk and other products, said Maria Winkel of Global Marine, who serves as Seatrade's agent in Aruba.

Seatrade is the only company that services Aruba directly from the Netherlands, she said.

The ship was allowed to leave Aruba after the captain signed a culpability declaration for insurance purposes, Boekhoudt said.

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