The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) informed that it deployed an oil spill response vessel, starting from 13 September, to help at the clean up operations off Piraeus, Greece, following the sinking of an oil tanker that brought major pollution in the area.
On 9 September around 2:45am local time, the double-bottomed oil tanker Agia Zoni II sank, while at anchorage in a Greek island, west of Piraeus, the country’s major port. The vessel had on board 2,200 tonnes of fuel oil and 370 tonnes of marine gas oil, provoking a major marine oil slick.
After a request by Greek authorities, on 13 September, EMSA mobilized the Aktea OSRV, an oil spill response vessel contracted by EMSA from the Greek company Environmental Protection Engineering (EPE), and operating in the Aegean Sea. The ship immediately ceased its commercial activities and arrived on site at 11am local time, 13 September, where it is recovering the oil leaking out of the wreck under the command of the Greek authorities.
In order to assess the extent of the spill, the Greek authorities also requested additional satellite images from EMSA.
“This assistance to the Greek authorities clearly demonstrates the added advantage Member States can have by requesting additional response assets which are available across the European coastline and can be mobilised quickly. It also highlights the responsiveness of EMSA’s satellite image service”, said EMSA Executive Director, Markku Mylly.
The pollution response arrangement onboard the ship includes two rigid sweeping arms (15m each), two single point inflation booms (250m each), one high capacity skimmer, a slick detection radar, a gas detector, mini lab and flashpoint tester.