A British owned vessel stuck in the Taiwan Strait with 249,000 tonnes of oil
has been ordered to leave for fear of a possible spill
but doesn't have any power.
Taiwan yesterday ordered the British owner
of a Liberian registered oil tanker,
currently floating without power in the Taiwan Strait,
to tow it out of Taiwan's waters to prevent pollution
form its cargo of 249,000 tonnes of crude oil.
The oil tanker, the Front Tobago, was originally headed
for Wakayama, Japan, where it was to discharge the oil.
But on May 2, it lost power near Japan and its British owner
hired a Singapore-based vessel, the Smit Wijs, to tow it to Japan.
On Sunday, Japan denied the tanker permission to enter its waters
and the tanker, towed by the vessel, headed for Taiwan's waters
and requested permission to enter Hualien or Kaohsiung harbors.
On Tuesday, it was towed to an area of shallow water
known as the Taiwan Bank in the Taiwan Strait
and decided to transfer its cargo to another tanker,
an operation that carries the risk of oil spillage.
Yesterday the [Taiwanese] task force officially ordered
the ship's owner to tow it out of Taiwan's waters
as soon as possible.