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The shrimp boat after it collided with a ferry off Sinaloa. The shrimp boat after Wednesday's collision.

Shrimp boat sinks after collision with ferry off Sinaloa

14,000 liters of fuel spilled into Gulf of California

A shrimp boat sank Wednesday after a collision with a ferry off Topolobampo, Sinaloa, causing the discharge of 14,000 liters of fuel into the ocean.

Authorities in the nearby town of Ahome have asked beach-goers not to enter the water and are monitoring beaches for any fuel that might wash ashore.

According to Baja Ferries, the Mexico Star was following its usual Topolobampo-La Paz route, carrying passengers and cargo, when it struck a fishboat with seven people on board. The ferry tried to communicate with visual and audio signals as well as by radio but the fishing vessel did not respond, the company said.

Two crew members on the shrimp boat were seriously injured.

Ahome Mayor María del Socorro Calderón held a meeting to evaluate the risk of ecological damage due to the fuel spill and asked Civil Protection and police to monitor the area for any signs of fuel.

The news portal Línea Directa reported that the port captain inspected the area Thursday and reported that the fuel had been successfully contained and there was no contamination outside the containment area. The Mexico Star was able to resume its normal schedule on Thursday.

“There is no marine contamination but we have to take the correct actions and preventative measures to avoid a pollution event. At the moment it is contained, it is controlled, we already checked the beaches and everything is normal. There is no sign of fuel,” said Port Captain Jesús López.

Omar Mendoza, the head of Civil Protection for Ahome, said that it will fall to the navy to investigate the accident.

Sources: El Universal (sp), Línea Directa (sp)

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