Xylene Tanker runs aground on Clipperton Island

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Posted by on March 01, 2010 at 17:16:11:

(Tahitipresse) - The Maltese chemical tanker "Sichem Osprey" ran aground on the uninhabited tiny atoll of Clipperton, the French High Commissioner's reported in Papeete.

The ship's British agent alerted the MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Center) Papeete Wednesday.

The 170 meters-long ship was going from the Panama Canal to South Korea.

The tanker contains xylene but there is reportedly no links on the hull. The crew of 19 is safe.

French authorities have asked the ship's owner to tow the "Sichem Osprey" in the next 48 hours.

A French Navy ship should also soon leave Papeete and go to Clipperton.

Clipperton Island is a French possession with an economic ocean zone of 425,000 square kilometers (164,093 square miles) that is rich in tuna.

It is located above the equator 1,120 km (700 miles) southwest of Acapulco, Mexico, and 2,623 km (1,630 miles) south-southeast of San Diego, Calif.

It is a circular coral atoll, the only atoll in the East Pacific, spread over six square km (2.3 sq. miles). There is no pass through the coral reef into the lagoon. The only structure on the atoll is the ruins of a 19th Century lighthouse.

The High Commissioner in Papeete is responsible for Clipperton, although the island is located than 6,000 kilometers (3,728 miles) northeast of Tahiti.

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