The Mauritian-flagged tanker Tresta Star, which ran aground in early February 2022 on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean, is breaking up.
A breach on the port side exposed to the heavy swell caused by the recent tropical cyclone Emnati, has increased in size.
Parts of the hull have also been torn off, and a huge hole measuring several metres in size is allowing water to enter.
Tresta Star grounded on 3 February along the east coast of Reunion Island, at Tremblet’s Point, after losing power during Tropical Cyclone Batsirai.
All 11 crew members were rescued by zip-line, and have been looked after ashore by the Sailors’ Society’s Crisis Response Network. The ship was not carrying any cargo.
There is a considerable danger of pollution, as fuel oil remains in the ship’s tanks.
With the vessel now breaking up, members of the Chinese salvage company Lianyungang Dali Underwater Engineering and the Greek firm Polygreen, recruited immediately following the grounding, have stopped work because of a default in payment by the ship owner, Tresta Trading.
The ship owner is a subsidiary of an Indian company, also called Tresta Trading, and is owned by Shiny Shipping and Logistics, a company based in India.
It had agreed with Lianyungang Dali Underwater Engineering and Polygreen, which had just completed the dismantling of Wakashio’s bow in Mauritius, that a first oil transfer would be made two days after their arrival in Reunion.
However, no payment has been made to the salvage team, which has paid out on various items to begin the work.