A bulk oil carrier, MV Val Paraiso, early yesterday morning, ran aground at the shore of Krisan Village, near Ekwei, in the Ellembelle District in the Western Region without the complement of the captain, the chief engineer and other vital crew members.
The vessel hit the coast about 5 a.m. with only a cook and a sailor on board supported by local fishermen; the captain and the chief engineer had abandoned the ship on the high seas after running out of fuel.
The vessel, which was not flying the flag of any country while sailing in Ghana’s territorial waters, was said to have four crew members.
The two found on board the ship identified themselves as Jackson Bamba, the cook, and Kingsley Nzonami, the sailor. They have since been handed over to the National Security.
The police are currently searching for the captain and the chief engineer who abandoned the vessel on the high seas.
Currently, the Marine Police Department of the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Navy are conducting further investigations into the matter.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic at Krisan, the officer in charge of the Marine Police Department, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mr Emmanuel Addae, said the Captain of the vessel, identified as Martins Ebou, and the Chief Engineer, Christopher Egoenun, both Nigerians, were believed to be at large.
He said the cook told the police that, on October 24, the captain had informed them that they were running out of fuel and hoped they would get to the Takoradi Port to refuel before the engines went off.
However, on October 25, the engines went off and the captain called a fishing canoe nearby and asked the fishermen to send his chief engineer to the shore to get fuel to enable them to continue with the journey.
Bamba told the police that the chief engineer did not return and so on October 26, 2013 the captain also left the vessel on another canoe.
“We did not hear from the captain or the chief engineer until the high tide pushed us to the shore today. His phones are off,” Bamba told the police.
Asked why they did not sail to the anchorage, Bamba explained that the anchors were mechanical and could only be lowered when the engines were on, saying, “Our fuel is finished and the two engines went off. Therefore, there was nothing we could do except to stay inside.”
Mr Addae said the ship, according to the two, had been bought in Holland and that they were transporting it from Sierra Leone to its owner in Nigeria.
When the Daily Graphic arrived at the scene, the giant oil tanker, painted gray and blue, had its bow in the sand at the beach at Krisan.
The two said the vessel was empty and that there was no cargo on board.
The community members said they woke up yesterday to the sight of the huge vessel, the size of which they had never seen before.
One of them, Kofi Nti, the chief fisherman, said about 2 a.m. yesterday they saw the huge object and became alarmed.
He said the assembly member for the area was informed about the development, and he quickly called the police and National Security to inform them about the situation.
Yesterday, members of the community trooped to the beach to catch a glimpse of the vessel.
Source: Daily Graphic