The cargo hold of the sunken product tanker Agia Zoni II has been 95% sealed, however dire images of oil washing up on the beaches of the nearby Greek island of Salamis.
The 45-year-old Agia Zoni II sank at dawn on Sunday with 2,200 tons of fuel oil and 370 metric tons of marine gas oil. Local reports suggest the small ship was manned with just two crew, both of whom were arrested before being released.
Greece’s merchant marine minister said yesterday clean-up crews were working to contain the ensuing pollution. While the cargo hold has nearly been sealed, a pumping operation has started.
However, the shoreline of Salamis, the largest island in the Saronic Gulf off Piraeus, has been left polluted and black with oil.
More than 2 km of shoreline has been polluted by the oil slick with one local politician describing the accident as a “great ecological and economic disaster”.
Due to its proximity to the mainland, Salamis serves as a popular weekend getaway destination for citizens in Athens.