Muscat: Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA) has called upon citizens and residents to report any cases of water pollution at Muscat beaches after a dhow (boat) loaded with diesel barrels sank near Al Seeb port on Friday.
“Beachgoers all the way from Qurum to Barka coastlines have been asked to contact the Pollution Operation Monitoring Centre at 80071999 or 24693666 in case they witness any floating oil barrels, pollution or ship wreckage,” MECA said in a statement.
While no leakage has been reported so far, ministry officials will go to the area on Wednesday to take stock of the situation.
The estimated number of missing barrels is between 150 and 300, according to Moza Al Salami, an official from the Pollution Operation Monitoring Centre. She said the commercial dhow had a variety of goods, including petrol and diesel barrels, chemicals, medical tools, plastics and more.
Around 1,000 tyres are also reportedly missing in the sea.
Al Salami said the fishermen and beachgoers had collected some petrol barrels and placed the empty ones on the beach.
“There is no pollution, but these barrels can obstruct the fishing boats’ movement,” she added. The Times of Oman (TOO) had reported on Saturday that eight Indian sailors on board the dhow were rescued by the Royal Oman Police (ROP).
“All the eight sailors were rescued from the sinking dhow near Oman’s coast. All are in good health,” the ROP posted on its official Twitter account on Saturday afternoon. The dhow was on its way to Somalia from Sharjah.
“We noticed a problem by around 3 pm on Friday. We informed the shipping agent and they alerted the ROP. As water started entering the dhow, we moved to our own rescue boat and waited for help,” Gaffar Siddique, the captain of the dhow, told TOO. “The rescue team had come fast and we were saved. However, we couldn’t salvage the sinking dhow,” Siddique added.