Five miles off the coast of war-torn Yemen, the abandoned supertanker FSO Safer is about to unleash over one MILLION barrels of toxic crude oil into the Red Sea, threatening pristine marine ecosystems and the lives of millions of people. We demand that world leaders work to #SalvagetheSafer before it's too late!
With virtually no maintenance since the start of Yemen's civil war in 2015, experts have repeatedly issued dire warnings that the FSO Safer has become a "giant floating bomb" which could cause the world's largest environmental and humanitarian disaster at any moment.
Water has entered the engine room and explosive gases are building up inside the ship, risking a massive explosion and oil spill four times bigger than the Exxon Valdez disaster in one of the most important repositories of marine biodiversity on the planet.
If we allow the Safer to fail, analysts warn that it could unleash a 366,000 square mile mega-spill which would wipe out entire ecosystems and affect 150 million people in six countries.
Some of the planet's last climate-resilient coral reefs would be lost forever, over one million migratory birds could be poisoned, and 100% of Yemen's fisheries would be wiped out within days. The spill could shut down vital global shipping lanes and poison Yemen's farmland and fresh water supplies in a nation already on the brink of famine. Cleaning up such a massive spill in a war zone would be virtually impossible, and cost tens of billions of dollars.
But this crisis is entirely preventable, if we act now.
Maritime experts agree that a salvage operation could safely remove the oil from the ship and avert catastrophe. But Yemen's Houthis, who claim control over the ship, have recklessly blocked any maintenance on the Safer for years as a political bargaining chip, while world leaders have mostly ignored the issue.
The recent disasters in Beirut and Mauritius have shown that when governments fail to heed warnings, people and ecosystems die. We cannot afford to let Yemen become the next victim of carelessness.
World leaders must prioritize real action to #SalvagetheSafer now and defuse this ticking time bomb before it's too late!