Fears grow oil will wash ashore from Med collision

French and Italian authorities have worked hard to contain a big spill in the Mediterranean, however the oil is spreading fast and is likely to wash ashore.

An inflatable boom has now been deployed around the accident site off Corsica where the roro Ulysse collided with the anchored boxship CSL Virginia on Sunday, rupturing fuel tankers with up to 200 cu m of oil spilling into the sea. The slick now stretches over more than 20 km.

“Pushed by the wind, the spill has spread and is breaking up”, a spokesman said yesterday.

Officials are still evaluating how to separate the two ships and bring them to port.

An investigation has been launched for “pollution” brought on by a “maritime accident”, Marseille prosecutor Xavier Tarabeux said.

Writing on Twitter, Corsica leader Gilles Simeoni said he was determined to find out what caused the accident in relatively calm seas with good visibility.

The wind appears to be pushing the spill toward the northwest away from the French island, although the Italian coast guard warned yesterday that changing weather patterns over the next few days could see the oil wash up on Corsica’s shoreline.


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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