THE Maltese-flagged 76,000-dwt bulk carrier Galapagos has spilled hydraulic oil into the Malacca Strait after colliding with the British flagged 15,000-TEU Zephyr Lumos, said Malaysia's Maritime Authority.
"A team each is onboard the two ships and investigating the matter and, based on the information, there was a thin sheen of oil spill from the hydraulic crane on the Galapagos," a senior executive at Malaysia's Marine Department told London's S&P Global Platts.
There has been no spill of bunker fuel, and the hydraulic oil leakage that was within a 50- to 100-metre radius of the ship has mostly evaporated, the executive said.
Preliminary investigations show that the 2010-built and Maltese-flagged Galapagos experienced a steering gear failure and suddenly turned swiftly after losing control, he said.
The marine gasoil or MGO in the Galapagos has been transferred to another tank space, the marine department said in a statement. The part of the ship that is open as a result of the breach does not store MGO and the oil spilled into the sea is hydraulic oil, the department said.
The collision resulted in both ships being dragged together for a short distance before coming to a halt.
The Malaysian executive said that the 2021-built, Zodiac Maritime's Zephyr Lumos was overtaking the Galapagos and, after the panamax bulk carrier lost control, the containership hit it on the starboard side from behind.
The Zephyr Lumos was asked to anchor outside the traffic separation scheme or TSS in the straits; its destination is Suez from Singapore. The Galapagos is anchored near the collision site; it had been en route to India's Vizag port.