The South African Maritime Authority (SAMSA) said on Wednesday, November 10 that it is aware of a vessel releasing toxic fumes at St. Helena Bay on the Cape West Coast.
According to a statement by SAMSA, the geared bulk carrier NS Qingdao suffered a chemical reaction after its cargo came into contact with rainwater while discharging the cargo in the port of Durban.
“Concentrated toxic fumes were released into the atmosphere and as a result, the Transnet National Port Authority in consultation with SAMSA, DFFE and other stakeholders decided to evacuate the vessel from the port so that the hatches can be ventilated offshore.” the statement read.
Acting Chief Operations Officer, Captain Vernon Keller added that the cargo will be discharged into skips, chemically neutralised and landed ashore at an approved dumping site in a safe and controlled manner.
” The vessel poses no immediate threat to the marine environment and humans,” Keller reiterated.