Large oil slick washes up on Greek island near Piraeus

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.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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