Aug. 8 (UPI) -- The island nation of Mauritius declared a state of environmental emergency Friday after a wrecked ship offshore began breaking up, leaking into the ocean.
The vessel, MV Wakashio, was sailing from China to Brazil when it hit coral reefs near Pointe d'Esny when ran aground of a reef off the Indian Ocean and its crew evacuated July 25.
But the ship has since begun leaking oil into the surrounding waters.
Mauritius prime minister Pravind Jugnauth said the nation does not have the skills and expertise to refloat stranded ships, and has appealed to France for help, which the latter nation has offered.
The French island of Reunion is near Mauritius, which is home to a number of coral reefs and is a tourist destination.
The wreck took place near the Blue Bay Marine Park reserve and a number of popular tourist beaches.