•After discharging products in Nigeria
An oil tanker whose identity could not be ascertained as at press time and which was flying the Ghanaian flag ran aground last Thursday on the coast of Cameroon and immediately caught fire, Cameroonian gendarmes said last week.
The ill-fated tanker reportedly left Nigeria after discharging about 14,000 tonnes of petroleum products
There were fears about the safety of the crew as Cameroonian gendarmes said that they had found no bodies in the burnt ship.
According to chief adjutant Elie Mbape of the Idenau gendarmerie brigade who led security operatives to the scene, the ship reportedly ran into trouble at Debunscha, about 30 nautical kilometres (20 miles) from the south-western town of Limbe, for yet-to be ascertained reasons.
The vessel “began to burn straight away” and was still on fire on Thursday afternoon, Mbape said, even as it was confirmed that no bodies were found by the naval, gendarmerie and police teams that were sent to the wreck.
The captain of the boat was a Ghanaian, Mbape said, adding that operations around the vessel were being undertaken by the army.
The ship’s log “shows that it made a delivery of 14,000 litres of fuel before the accident,” Mpabe added, stating that the boat had been making her way from Nigeria before the accident. It was however unclear whether there was any fuel on board on the vessel and there were no details concerning the whereabouts of its crew.
Mbape said that “no options can be excluded”, including the possibility “of a pirate attack.”