Brazilian authorities said no casualties were reported and measures to gauge the potential environmental damage were underway after the Liberian-flagged oil tanker Minerva Rita, carrying 18,000 m³ of Naphtha and 8,499 m³ of gasoline, had her hull damaged after running aground on Monday about 170 kilometers from the State's capital down the Amazon River en route from Manaus to a refinery in Itacoatiara.
According to Brazil's Navy, the accident occurred when the vessel took a wrong turn and passed through a shallow area due to the drought in the Guajará Canal, in the Tabocal region. The vessel challenged the current downspout and set sail nonetheless. Navigation in the region has not been affected and there are still no plans to remove the vessel, it was explained. The site of the incident is considered a critical point for the passage of large ships due to the drought affecting the state of Amazonas.
The Minerva Rita reportedly ran up on a rock at the height of the Guajará community in the Tabocal region, the most critical stretch of the Amazon River. The Tabocal has become the biggest problem for large ships in this year's historic drought, with around 20 large ships still waiting for floodwaters to set sail.
The double-hulled Minerva Rita is at the service of the Amazon Refinery (REAM), which was requested by the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis - Ibama) to provide detailed information on the product loaded, the possible cause of the damage and preventive measures to avoid environmental damage, among other things, it was reported.
Failure to comply with the notification will result in a Notice of Infraction. REAM will also have to submit daily updates to Ibama's Superintendence in the state of Amazonas. Officials from Ibama's Environmental Emergency sector inspected the vessel on Wednesday 06 and the contents of the tanks have been said to be undamaged.
An investigation will be launched to ascertain the causes, circumstances, and possible culprits. As soon as it is concluded, and the legal formalities have been completed, the investigation will be forwarded to the Maritime Court, which will distribute and file the appropriate charges, a statement from the Navy's 9th Naval District (Amazonas, Acre, Rondônia, and Roraima) read.
As soon as it is concluded, and the legal formalities have been completed, the inquiry will be forwarded to the Maritime Court, which will distribute and register it, the document went on.