A Japanese bulker has grounded on a beach on the paradise island of Mauritius.

The 203,000-dwt Wakashio (built 2007) was heading to Brazil from the Far East at the weekend when it hit the Pointe d’Esny beach, which is located near to a marine park.

AIS data describes the vessel’s current status as “aground”.

The ship is owned by Japan’s Nagashiki Kisen, and previously operated under the commercial control of Nippon Steel Shipping, but its long-term charter has now expired and the vessel is operating on the spot market. The shipowner was not immediately available for comment.

According to brokers, the Wakashio typically operates on the dry bulk trades between Australia and Japan and not on the Brazil to Far East iron ore run.

No pollution has been reported as a result of the grounding and all of the crew members are reportedly safe. Oil pollution prevention measures have been put in place and the local authorities describe the situation as “under control”.

At this stage, there is no indication how much fuel oil is onboard the ship.

The local traffic control authority had reportedly attempted to contract the Wakashio when it noticed it was sailing too close to the shore.

The vessel's protection and indemnity insurance is with the Japan P&I Club and it is registered in Panama.

As it is in ballast, the chances of a successful refloating would appear to be good.

In a similar incident earlier this year, the 300,000-dwt Stellar Banner (built 2016) grounded off the coast of Brazil. The bulker was fully laden at the time and, after extensive salvage operations failed, its owners were left with no choice but to scuttle the vessel.

This story has been amended since publication to clarify Nippon Steel Shipping's connection to the Wakashio.