A Japanese supertanker ran aground in Indonesian waters just south of Singapore on Monday (6 January), sending a three mile wide oil slick towards Singapore's best beaches.
WS pan tug to grounded tanker
MS tanker's bridge
MS tanker's stern and name "Showa Maru"
MS men in dinghy alongside
WS pan tug to tanker
MS Fort Authority boat sprays detergent (2 shots)
CU wake - oil in water
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Background: A Japanese supertanker ran aground in Indonesian waters just south of Singapore on Monday (6 January), sending a three mile wide oil slick towards Singapore's best beaches.
Some 4,500 kilolitres (same as metric tons) -- about one million gallons -- have so far seeped out from three tanks that were damaged when the vessel, Showa Maru, grounded off Singapore's southerly islet of Pulau Sebarok.
This was close to two per cent of the 237,000 tone of crude oil and supertanker was carrying from the Gulf to Japan.
Oil slicks and seepages over a three mile area have moved to just three miles (5 kms) off Sentosa island, whose beaches are a key feature of Singapore's plans to turn Sentosa into a major tourist attraction.
There are also fears that the overnight tides might bring the oil slicks into the main shipping lanes of Singapore harbour.
12 fire-fighting vessels and tugs are standing by as Singapore's maritime and shipping authorities brace themselves for a possible full-scale assault on the worst oil slick threat to the island republic.
The oil spill eclipsed the spillage of 1,000 tone (about 220,00 gallons) of oil by the 213,000 ton Shell petroleum tanker, Myrtea, in June 1972 just south of Singapore harbour.