Maltese-flagged bulk carrier M/V Vitahorizon has been involved in a fuel oil spill during bunkering operations while anchored at New Orleans area, Louisiana.

Namely, on September 4, the Plaquemines Parish 911 Center received a report of a discharge of high sulfur fuel oil into the Mississippi River IVO lower 12 Mile Point Anchorage, Mississippi, New Orleans area, near Braithwaite and Wilderness Park.

“The discharge was due to an overfilling of a fuel tank on the M/V Vitahorizon during fueling operations,” the United States Coast Guard (USCG) said in a release.

“Plaquemines Parish Fire Department and Plaquemines Parish Port were notified of the incident. During the night there was a strong odor of diesel in the Belle Chasse and Braithwaite areas. This is the result of the spill.”

It is estimated that 10-20 barrels of the product have been spilled. The coast guard added that the responsible parties have hired companies to boom off both vessels and begin cleanup operations.

“USCG conducted a preliminary investigation, ensured the source was secure, notified the waterways warning network and issued an information bulletin to warn traffic near the site for the cleanup crews safety. A Pollution Response team has responded to collect statements and ensure cleanup operations were progressing,” the coast guard said.

The 74,483 DWT bulker was built in 2007 and is managed by Vita Management SA, from Greece.

Based on the vessel’s AIS data, the bulker arrived at New Orleans on September 3 from Port of Balboa, Panama.