An emergency meeting was held at the shipping ministry on Wednesday to review the actions taken to clean up an oil spill caused by the sinking of the small tanker "Agia Zoni II" on Sunday, while it was anchored off Salamina. The briefing focused on actions taken to contain sections of the spill in Selinia and Kynosoura on Salamina, as well as the Piraeus suburbs of Freattyda and Piraiki.
The meeting was attended by the ministry general secretaries, the head of the coast guard and senior coast guard officers, while local authorities were represented by Piraeus Deputy Governor Giorgos Gavrilis, who had requested the meeting, Deputy Governor for the Islands Panagiotis Hatziperos, the mayors of Perama and Salamina Giannis Lagoudakis and Isidora Nannou-Papathanasiou, respectively, the deputy mayor of Piraeus Alexandros Argoudelis, Piraeus MPs and representatives of the private companies in charge of the clean-up effort.
Intensive efforts to contain and clean up the spill are continuing on Wednesday, with a crew of 60 currently working on the Paraskeva Beach at Votsalakia and in the sea in front of the Hellenic Naval Academy. The crews will later be reinforced by the anti-pollution tanker "Aktea osrv" that has much greater capabilities to clean up petroleum spills.
According to the companies, the clean up is proceeding at a satisfactory rate and work to empty the tanks of the sunken vessel, which still contain 2,570 tonnes of fuel, will begin within the day. The coast guard has reinforced its presence on the scene, while additional tanker trucks have been sent to Salamina to assist the clean up.
In a press release issued on Wednesday afternoon, the shipping firm owning the "Agia Zoni II" expressed its support for local residents, businesses and authorities and said it had ordered the company in charge of the clean up to do everything possible to fully remove all pollution.
"We have assurances that this will be done," the announcement said, while noting that the ship has now stopped leaking fuel into the environment. Efforts to fully remove any fuel remaining in its tanks to avoid future pollution are continuing, the company added.
"We shall remain in constant contact with all competent services in order for the environment to be fully restored," the company said, while refuting claims that the tanker had not been fully seaworthy when it sank, noting that all certificates were up to date and all inspections required under law had been done. An investigation by divers and the appropriate authorities into what caused the ship to sink was now underway, the company added.