Most of the bitumen which reached the shore has now been cleaned up
On 19 June 2013 the Bitumen tanker Nesa R3 sank off the coast of Oman near Muscat, resulting in the tragic loss of the vessel’s master and the release of an unknown quantity of the 800 plus tonnes cargo of Bitumen.
Oman is a 1992 Fund Member State and the Fund was notified of the incident by the Marine Emergency Mutual Aid Centre (MEMAC) based in Bahrain. A Technical Committee was established by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change of Oman to manage and coordinate the response to the incident using government, port, industry and specialist contractors based in Oman. Once this initial response was underway the authorities sought to prepare for the longer term and subsequent stages of clean up, damage assessment and to ensure access to compensation for those affected by the spill.
The Head of Claims Department and Technical Adviser, Matthew Sommerville, supported by a fisheries expert from the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Ltd (ITOPF) visited Oman from 29 June to 2 July 2013. They met with the Technical Committee and a number of Government officials and also carried out inspections of the affected coastline. Mr Sommerville also met with HE Mohammed bin Salim bin Said Al Tobi, Minister of Environment and Climate Affairs.
The authorities in Oman are now focussed on completion of the clean-up operations and are in discussions with the shipowner regarding his obligations under the 1992 Civil Liability Convention. Further details will be provided to Member States at the next session of the 1992 Fund Executive Committee in October this year.