Cleanup operations continue in the Mediterranean

Salvors are struggling to seperate the Tunisian ropax Ulysse, whose bulbous bow is firmly lodged in the side of the boxship CSL Virginia, following a collision on Sunday which has led to a sizeable oil spill north of Corsica in the Mediterranean. A first attempt to disentangle the pair failed and now salvors are working on a plan to lower the boxship’s ballast to ease the bow of the Ulysse from the CSL Virginia’s hull.

Investigators are looking into how the ropax hit the anchored boxship, with some local reports suggesting the Tunisian ship was travelling at 19 knots at the time of impact.

Meanwhile, following a massive clean up operation by Italian and French teams, authorities are confident that more than three-quarters of the approximate 200 cu m of oil that spilled from the CSL Virginia has been cleared up. French vice-admiral Charles-Henri du Ché told reporters that an estimated 200 cu m of fuel spilled into the sea on Sunday and that all but 40 cu m had been cleaned up by Wednesday afternoon.

Local authorities claim the spill now covers some 25 sq km, something that is questioned by NGO Greenpeace who suggest that the spill has actually spread to over 100 sq km.

Satellite images of the collision of the ships in the area of the Cetacean Sanctuary in the Mediterranean “show that contamination by hydrocarbons now affects over 100 square kilometers” according to a report circulated by Greenpeace. “The area affected by the contamination has gone from about 88 square kilometers on 8 October to 104 square kilometers yesterday, October 9th”, the report issued yesterday stated. The photos are from the satellite Sentinel.



Nicola Capuzzo

Nicola is a highly qualified journalist focused on transport economics, logistics and shipping with broad experience in both online and printed media. Specialties: shipping, ship finance, banking, commodities and port economics. He regularly interviews Europe's top shipowner executives for Maritime CEO magazine.
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