A mammoth oil tanker is decaying into the Red Sea, threatening the water supply of millions of people and the world’s most resilient coral reef.
Known as the Safer, the vessel is 1,188 feet (362 meters) long and holds 1 million barrels (42 million gallons or 159 million liters) of oil in its 34 storage tanks. A Yemeni oil company owns the ship, which requires constant upkeep under normal circumstances to stay safe. With Yemen at war since 2014, the company has failed to maintain the ship at all. The Safer lies abandoned and rusting near the port Hudaydah in Yemen, where it once served as a floating storage unit. There’s now oil seeping into the water around the vessel, risking a major leak, according to a new paper.