Muscat: The Indian vessel which leaked thousands of plastic items in the Arabian Sea sunk due to cargo overload, Oman’s ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA) revealed in a statement.
MECA has praised the efforts of volunteers in cleaning Masirah Island, one of the largest turtle sanctuaries in the world.
Engineer Moza Al Salami, an official at the Pollution Control Centre, said that they received information on Saturday, 23 July at 3:00 pm about an Indian vessel which sank around 1.35 mile off the island shore.
In a statement, MECA said that 17 Indian sailors were saved by citizens.
However, the sunken vessel leaked cars and some spare parts, diesel, petrol barrels and foodstuff.
According to Al Salami, a team of specialists moved in immediately to investigate the incident.
She clarified that the ministry is questioning the crew to establish what cargo was carried as a number of barrels of diesel have been retrieved by locals.
She also noted the presence of an oil slick from the barrels.
The ministry, in co-operation with Royal Oman Police air force in Masirah, has helped volunteers from PDO and the Environment Society of Oman clean the affected 60 kilometers of beaches from the eastern shore of the island.
According to sources, the vessel is still leaking water bottle caps, water bottles, plastic torches, toothbrushes, diesel and petrol barrels.
Food items are also being washed ashore, such as biscuits, chewing gum and candy, while a volunteer said some syringes and cosmetics have also been found on the island.